Manchester United vs Aston Villa preview (September 25, 2021)

Written By Uttiyo Sarkar on September 21, 2021

There’s a major difference in Manchester United’s start in the last two Premier League seasons. Last season, the Red Devils picked up just 7 points from their first 5 league games. This time, it’s nearly doubled to 13 from a possible 18!

A lot of it might be credited to the ultimate winner, Cristiano Ronaldo, but the team as a whole is starting to click. They seem to have the champions’ touch, but consistency is key to keeping up with the other title contenders. United’s next game is against a very unpredictable Aston Villa side booming off the influence of new signings.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side’s home form might be excellent this season, but they’ll have to produce their most ruthless attacking work to slay the Lions and continue their surge towards title gold.

Manchester United Likely XI

De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Pogba, Bruno, Sancho, Greenwood, Ronaldo

Edinson Cavani is in contention to return, but is unlikely to start over Ronaldo. Marcus Rashford & Alex Telles remain the ones unavailable for United.

Aston Villa Likely XI

Martinez, Konsa, Hause, Mings, Cash, McGinn, Luiz, Buendia, Targett, Watkins, Ings

The Lions have a few injury issues, with star signing Leon Bailey & Keinan Davis doubtful for this game.

Manchester United vs Aston Villa preview

Man United pulled off an incredible comeback win over West Ham recently thanks to a last-minute winner & an amazing penalty save. However, Solskjaer knows that there’s no room for any lapse if his side is to stay alive in this unrelenting title race.

With a few daunting games upcoming in October, they cannot afford to drop points at home anymore. United have scored 9 goals in their 2 PL home games this season & will fancy their chances against Villa.

When a certain Cristiano Ronaldo is in form, confidence is justified. CR7 has had a brilliant start to his second stint with the Red Devils, scoring 4 goals in 3 appearances. As long as his teammates are able to find him in dangerous area in the final third – Ronaldo should keep that emphatic scoring form intact.

Bruno Fernandes is starting to form spicy chemistry with Ronaldo & feeding him big chances in the attack. He’ll hope to continue that against Aston Villa & final third passes spot on – while also keeping a lid on his experimental passes.

His partner-in-crime Paul Pogba should move back into a central role – which means the Frenchman should get more freedom to influence things with his cutting-edge passes – as long as able to contribute defensively.

Jadon Sancho seems to be getting better with each game. While his dribbling ability & tendency to carry the ball forward is unquestioned, he must get his final product spot on to break his frustrating duck. Mason Greenwood is now goalless in two games & while his overall link-up play, as well as movement, is promising – he’ll be determined to take more shots to deter Emiliano Martinez.

As they’re flying high on momentum, United will be expected to dominate possession & force Villa into the backfoot. However, Dean Smith’s side isn’t one to totally park the bus & play for a point. They’ve had a topsy-turvy season so far, winning 2 & losing 2 in 5 games, and aren’t afraid of taking risks.

Moreover, the Lions have enough firepower to give any top side a real scare. Their front-two Danny Ings & Ollie Watkins are two ruthless goal-scorers. They’ve developed decent chemistry & can torment United’s backline with their movement. Moreover, their impressive finishing ability means there’s no room for error at the back for the Red Devils.

Emiliano Buendia acts as the Villa creative force & can create chances out of nothing if not closed down quickly. John McGinn is Villa’s ace-in-the-hole in midfield – with his clever off-the-ball runs into the box & finishing ability making him another force to be reckoned with.

Even the likes of Matty Cash & Matt Targett can cause a lot of problem down the wings if United aren’t sturdy enough. The Red Devils are yet to keep a clean sheet in a home game this season. To do so against such a vigilant, fearless Villa side – it’ll take quite some doing.

Harry Maguire & Raphael Varane really have to set up an unbreakable backline that isn’t error-prone. Varane has had a solid start to his United career – with unfortunate moments pegging him down. As long as able to shake that off, the composed Frenchman should frustrate Villa’s attackers with his stern defending.

Maguire also has to avoid any errors & support his partner strongly, as well as keep a lid on the menacing Ings. Aaron Wan-Bissaka & Luke Shaw must be more alert in the wide areas to stop crosses from coming in – while also get their final delivery spot on to create big chances. Thankfully for United, David de Gea is in spectacular form & hopes to continue that by pulling off clutch saves to frustrate Villa.

The Red Devils should expect a real end-to-end contest against this energetic Villa side. United have to unleash their attacking sparks and be assertive at the back to brush away their opponent & maintain their surge for a title.

Prediction

United are flying high on momentum in the PL right now, which is why I don’t think they’ll slip up here. It should be a thrilling, end-to-end contest, but I think United will get a 3-1 win.

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Uttiyo Sarkar

An unbiased Manchester United die-hard. Lover of the beautiful game. Addicted to the Premier League and beyond. Hopeful writer in the search for the greater good.

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