Aston Villa v Manchester United – the preview

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Both Tim Sherwood and Louis van Gaal will be hoping to see their sides continue their winning starts to the 2015-16 season when the sides meet in the first Friday night Premier League game, excluding Christmas and Easter fixtures, since April 2004. The match, which had originally been scheduled for Saturday evening, was moved due to policing concerns because of an English Defence League march in Walsall on Saturday.

Last weekend, Gestede’s powerful second half header secured the points for Sherwood’s side while the Red Devils earned their three points thanks to an own-goal by Spurs’ Walker.

The visitors will be firm favourites to win tomorrow night’s game. To say that the Villans’ record against the Red Devils is poor is something of an understatement: when taking football tips for the weekend, you will no doubt be reminded that the Villans haven’t beaten the Manchester club at Villa Park in two decades and have won only one of their last thirty-nine meetings in the top flight.

Having overhauled his squad, Sherwood will be hoping the exorcise some demons and improve his side’s home record while his counterpart will be looking to secure consecutive Premier League victories at the start of the season for the first time since 2011 as he bids to improve on last season’s fourth place finish.

Recent form:

Aston Villa: W
Manchester United: W

Team news:

Gil and Grealish are both back in training but unlikely to be named in tomorrow’s match day squad due to their fitness levels.

Gardner (ankle) could be in contention, although he is unlikely to start.

Crespo could also feature after taking a knock during his début.

Okore is continuing his recovery from surgery and will not be available.

Sherwood has suggested that Gestede, who secured three points for the Villans last weekend, will once again be on the bench as he is not yet ready to play ninety minutes.

Possible line-up:

Guzan
Amavi     Richards     Clark     Hutton
Westwood     Gueye     Veretout
Agbonlahor     Sinclair     Ayew

The opposition:

Louis van Gaal could name an unchanged team.

Fellaini is serving the second of his three-match ban.

Jones’ absence should mean that Blind continues in central defence, which is not his natural position, alongside Smalling.

Schweinsteiger, who came off the bench to make his début last weekend, is reportedly still not fit enough to start.

With uncertainty surrounding de Gea’s future, Romero is expected to continue in goal.

Match information:

Referee: Mike Dean
Venue: Villa Park
Kick-off: 7.45p.m.
Tickets: Tickets for this game have sold out
Last meeting: 4th April 2015: Manchester United 3 – Aston Villa 1

Predictions:

1-2 – Mark Lawrenson

1-1 – AnneMc

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