Manchester United vs Aston Villa. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats and more
The stars were thus aligned that back at the weekend, Unai Emery stunned the Red Devils in Birmingham on his debut as Aston Villa head coach, but already in the midweek, the Villains are set to travel to Manchester to formidable Old Trafford. Ironically, sometimes clubs play each other in succession but in different tournaments. The competition has changed, but the resentment in the hearts of Man United’s players still sits deep. In the League Cup 1/16 final, Erik ten Hag and his lads will try to take revenge and put the Spanish specialist in his place. Will it be easy?
With a rich English Premier League experience, the four-time UEFA Europa League winner Emery will have a much tougher task in this game, but for a team of this calibre, cup matches represent a special opportunity to win a trophy. The Lions will be motivated to put up a fierce fight.
Parimatchnews will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.
Manchester United News & Current Form:
The Mancunians have been on the rise of late. Erik ten Hag’s side have become more reliable in front of their own goal and, despite obvious problems with goalscoring, they have been producing good results. Not to be unsubstantiated, it is worth looking at the team’s form: in the last ten official matches, MU have lost only once – just to Aston Villa (1-3).
What makes it even more infuriating is that the Red Devils were on a three-match winning streak before the trip to Villa Park. While the Mancunians have conceded a total of 19 goals in 13 outings (only Fulham are worse in the top 10), Ten Hag’s men have managed to keep their goals intact as many as nine times this season. The trend is clearly positive, but there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
All that being said, the Red Devils have failed to catch up with stagnating Tottenham Hotspur and are now 11 points adrift of leading Arsenal. The ceiling of ambition is glaringly obvious and this is clearly not something Sir Alex Ferguson would like to see in his wake.
In any case, the Mancunians are far more of a threat now than they were in the starting phase of the 22/23 campaign. The Dutchman has managed to bring some balance to the team, but in order to do so, he has had to make some difficult decisions, including the benching of star player Cristiano Ronaldo and captain Harry Maguire.
Now Marcus Rashford and company are hungry for revenge. With the home side factor, a class and form advantage, their chances of winning are high.
Last season, they suffered a defeat in the third round of the English League Cup, when the Mancunians were beaten 0-1 by West Ham. In general, the Red Devils have had a bad relationship with this tournament in recent times: they played their last Carabao Cup final six years ago – back then, they beat Southampton (3-2) in a tough and close game.
And everyone knows that England’s third most important tournament often produces sensations: in 2020, for example, it was Villa who reached the final when they crashed out against Manchester City (1-2).
Now, the Lions have the potential to pull off another unexpected development. Yet, in the second leg against the Red Devils, Unai Emery’s team will have a much tougher time. It’s not just because the game will take place in Manchester, and Eric Ten Hag’s charges will already know what to expect. The thing is that the Mancunians head coach can now rely on Bruno Fernandes, who missed the Birmingham game due to yellow cards.
Despite missing core Raphael Varane, Antony and Jadon Sancho on the pitch last Sunday, it was the Portuguese’s absence that was most felt and negatively impacted the game. Without Fernandes’ creativity, his subtle cutting passes, the Red Devils’ attack looked predictable and helpless. As a result, Manchester United showed their lowest xG of the season in Birmingham.
In the cup game, Fernandes will certainly be back in the starting line-up. And that fundamentally changes the state of things before this match-up.
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Aston Villa News & Current Form:
At the time of Steven Gerrard’s arrival to the Lions’ camp, it seemed we might expect a fairy tale where the Englishman would first prove his worth to everyone in England and then become Jurgen Klopp’s successor in his beloved Liverpool.
However, the reality turned out to be much harsher, the former Glasgow Rangers coach has failed and Aston Villa slipped into the relegation zone. The club’s management had to take drastic measures in an attempt to change the situation. Owners Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris fired Steven Gerrard and replaced him with a new coach – Unai Emery, who won the Europa League with Villarreal in 2020/2021 season and a year later led his team to the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. His debut at the helm of Aston Villa proved to be a success. He started the job with a 3-1 victory against Man Utd. Can he build on that result in the League Cup?
“My main aim is to win the trophy with Aston Villa,”Unai Emery said on the eve of his debut as head coach.
Well, the English League Cup is the tournament in which the Spanish specialist has a chance to succeed. At the very least, Unai Emery has already got a working recipe for beating Manchester United, which is the Lions’ next opponent in this competition.
Sunday’s triumph marked the Birmingham side’s first win over Manchester United at Villa Park in 27 years. However, this historic fact had not been the main focus of the reviews of the British journalists and pundits. All eyes were upon the extraordinary transformation of Aston Villa, something that took Unai Emery only four training sessions to achieve. The Lions’ achievement was delivered with the classic 4-4-2 scheme, which transformed into a 6-2-2-2 when defending and into something like 4-2-2-2 when attacking. The team switched to playing the ball out from defence more, placing extra trust in Emiliano Martinez and Tyrone Mings to do this. At the same time, Emiliano Buendia showed himself perfectly in a deeper position on the pitch, while Ollie Watkins and Leon Bailey were given full freedom of action in attack.
“Everything was perfect today. Our next task is to be consistent”stated the ex-Arsenal coach without much euphoria after the win.
The Spaniard is approaching the match with the same squad. And his counterattacking style, with which he even managed to get past the formidable Bayern Munich in the UCL, could become instrumental in the encounter at Old Trafford.
Manchester United guide (all competitions): W-D-W-W-W-L
Aston Villa form guide (all competitions): D-L-L-W-L-W
Manchester United vs Aston Villa Head-To-Head Record:
|Manchester United||Draw||Aston Villa|
Aston Villa grabbed four points against MU in the Premiership last season. As for the cup game in January, it ended in a narrow win for the Mancunians with Scott McTominay scoring the only goal early on.
Manchester United vs Aston Villa Predicted XI:
Manchester United possible starting lineup: Dubravka; Dalot, Martinez, Maguire, Malacia; Fred, McTominay; Elanga, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial.
Aston Villa possible starting lineup: Olsen; Cash, Chambers, Mings, Digne; Kamara, McGinn, Ramsey; Bailey, Watkins, Buendia.
Statistical preview of the match Manchester United vs Aston Villa:
- Aston Villa have conceded in 9 of the last 10 away games.
- Aston Villa have scored in 7 of the last 8 EFL Cup away games.
- Aston Villa are winless in 8 of the last 9 away games.
- Aston Villa have scored less than 1.5 goals in each of their last 5 away games.
- Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last 8 EFL Cup away games.
- Manchester United are unbeaten in 9 of the last 10 games.
- Manchester United have conceded in 7 of the last 8 games against Aston Villa.
- Manchester United have scored less than 2.5 goals in 5 of the last 6 EFL Cup home games.
- Manchester United have managed to register a clean sheet in each of their last 5 home games.
What has been said before the match:
Erik ten Hag, the Manchester United gaffer:
“First of all, all the games that we play, we have only one aim. We have to win. So that is the most important. We have to win, so we put the best players on the pitch we have. For every game, we make a proper plan for the line-up and tomorrow is the same. Of course, we have a lot of games to cover and this is a different competition. We plan some changes but want to play a strong team. We have only one aim: to go to the next round.”
“We had a good flurry of games, and we played a lot. I know players are not robots, but we are not happy with our performance. We analysed and it was not good enough. We want a reaction to get back to what we have seen in recent months with the attitude and culture. We have to win every game. We take every game seriously. Also this cup. We want to win this cup.”
“I’m open to bring in young players. We brought in Alejandro Garnacho because he deserved it with his performance on the training pitch. I’m really one who will back the process and have communication with the academy and under 21s, so that we have a good line. But in the end, players have to deserve the chance.”
Unai Emery, the Aston Villa gaffer:
“We are going to be playing away, so that is our first challenge, to be having the same performance as we did at home (in the Premier League).”
“On Thursday we cannot play with (Leander) Dendoncker or with (Jan) Bednarek because they have played in this competition before with other teams.” Emery said.
“It is going to be different in this tournament, but my idea is to create and build a team with the same style, but changing some players, to achieve our (needed) performance. They are the same players who won 4-0 over Brentford, and they played with the same performances again (in the league game with United). Now our challenge is to keep the same performances in the next match. If we will do it, I think we can go one more step ahead.”
Manchester United vs Aston Villa Prediction:
It cannot be said that Villa outclassed their opponents by all accounts (they also had just 0.58 xG) in the recent EPL game, and yet the determination and drive of Emery’s squad yielded a result.
In the upcoming meeting, the Man Utd stars are unlikely to be willing to strain themselves: Antony, Rashford and even more so Ronaldo, for whom the upcoming World Cup will be the last in his career, do not want to get injured in a third-tier tournament so that they could skip the trip to Qatar. Therefore, the hosts are likely to play at half strength, involving many youth talents, and these are unconvincing inputs to beat a highly motivated opponent, at least in regulation time.
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Parimatch News staff prediction:
We say: Aston Villa to win with a handicap (+1) – Yes.