Aston Villa's Danny Ings celebrates scoring against Brentford on 23 October 2022

Preview: Aston Villa vs. Manchester United – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Manchester United, including predictions, team news and possible line-ups.

Manchester United will aim to make it four straight wins in all competitions when they head to Villa Park in the Premier League on Sunday to face Aston Villa.

The Red Devils are currently fifth in the table on 23 points, one point behind fourth-placed Newcastle United, while a disappointing start has left Villa down in 16th place, just one point outside the relegation zone.

Match preview

© Reuters

Unai Emery was officially unveiled as Villa’s new head coach on Friday, as the Spaniard returned to the Premier League following his brief spell at Arsenal between May 2018 and November 2019.

The 51-year-old struggled to make his mark at the Emirates Stadium, but has since enjoyed a successful spell at Villarreal and speaking at his unveiling, Emery said he was determined to end Villa’s trophy drought and lead them back into European football .

However, the experienced head coach will be aware of the size of the job he has taken on, but Villa have struggled this season, winning three, drawing three and losing seven of their 13 Premier League games to finish in 16th in the table.

Villa began the afterlife Steven Gerrard with a 4-0 win over Brentford on October 23, but they then lost 4-0 at Newcastle last weekend, and it would be fair to say that consistency has been a real issue.

“My dream is to win a trophy with Aston Villa. That is my personal challenge at the beginning. My second goal could be to play with Aston Villa in Europe. Now we have to start thinking only about the next game because we are not in a good position in the table,” Emery said on Friday.

Villa, who will face Man United again in the EFL Cup next Thursday, incredibly have not beaten the Red Devils at Villa Park since October 1999, while their last home league success over the 20-time English champions came back in August 1995.

Manchester United players celebrate Alejandro Garnacho's goal against Real Sociedad on November 3, 2022© Reuters

Indeed, Man United’s last two Premier League defeats to Villa have both been at Old Trafford, including a 1-0 loss last season, with Courtney Hause won in the 88th minute of the contest.

Much has changed at the club since then, and Manchester City’s boss Pep Guardiola said at the end of October that Man United are “coming back” after a difficult few years.

The Red Devils lost their opening two games of the 2022-23 Premier League campaign against Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford, but they have won seven times, drawn twice and lost just once in the league since then, with the team showing huge improvement in management by the new head coach Erik ten Hag.

A record 23 points from 12 games has left them fifth in the table, just one point behind fourth-placed Newcastle and just three behind third-placed Tottenham Hotspur, with a game remaining on either side above them.

Ten Hag’s team won 1-0 over West Ham United in the league last weekend, with Marcus Rashford scored his 100th goal for the club, while also winning the Europa League on Thursday, beating Real Sociedad 1-0 thanks to Alejandro Garnachos first senior goal.

However, Man United finished second in their Europa League section and will therefore have to take part in a two-legged play-off in February to decide whether they will be in the last 16 of the competition.

Aston Villa Premier League form:

Manchester United Premier League form:

Manchester United form (all competitions):

Team news

Manchester United striker Antony pictured on October 27, 2022© Reuters

Villa will again be missed Boubacar Kamara, Ludwig Augustinsson and Diego Carlos on Sunday through injury, but Emiliano Martinez should be between the sticks, with the goalkeeper recovering from the head injury that forced him out against Newcastle.

Emery will not have had much time to assess his players before choosing a starting side, so there are unlikely to be any major surprises when it comes to his XI for this competition.

Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings should both again be in the page, while Leon Bailey expected to be in a large area for the hosts.

John McGinn and Lucas Digne could both serve recalls, with Ashley Young and Emiliano Buendia potentially the two players will drop out of the starting side after the defeat at St James’ Park.

As for Man United, Ten Hag has admitted he doesn’t know about Anthony Martial, Jadon Sancho and Anthony will be available for selection this weekend.

Martial is back in training as he tries to recover from a back problem and could end up on the bench, while Sancho (illness) and Antony (knock) could overcome their issues to feature, with the latter believed to have the best chance of coming into XI at Villa Park.

Bruno Fernandes is suspended, which can open the door to Peace to start, while Brandon Williams, Axel Tuanzebe and Raphael Varane remain unavailable due to injury.

Ten Hag has a big decision to make when it comes to the center of his defense, and Victor Lindelöf could finally get the nod over Harry Maguire to start next to Lisandro Martinez.

Rashford was a surprise substitute against Real Sociedad but is expected to be back in the XI here, while Cristiano Ronaldo, who has nine career goals against Villa, should also start.

Aston Villa’s possible starting line-up:
E Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne; Dendoncker, Luiz, McGinn; Watkins, Ings, Bailey

Manchester United possible starting line-up:
De Gea; Dalot, Lindelof, L Martinez, Shaw; Peace, Casemiro, Eriksen; Antony, Ronaldo, Rashford

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We say: Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester United

Man United will be wary of the threat Villa can pose under their new head coach, who will have a plan to stop the 20-time English champions on Sunday. We expect this to be a very difficult game for the Red Devils, but they are in strong form and we are backing a 2-1 win for the visitors here.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match, click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at predict over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they predict for this game and for more of their proven football tips.Above 2.5: data

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