Aston Villa’s certain relegation was delayed as Norwich City failed to beat Crystal Palace last week, even though the Villans lost to AFC Bournemouth. This week, however, the Villans could be relegated before they kick off against Manchester United, depending on the result from the early game today. Sunderland will travel to Norwich City in search of points and if Norwich City avoid a defeat Aston Villa will officially be playing Championship football next season.
The Villa boys will travel to Manchester today and the elusive win will most likely remain elusive. Things are so bad with the current team that it will be a momentous achievement not to concede a goal and have at least one shot on target against the Red Devils.
If relegation is confirmed before kick-off, I would at least like to see these players take the game to United for the sake of the fans.
Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester
Date: Saturday 16th April 2016
Referee: Kevin Friend
Caretaker manager Eric Black mentioned that Gabby Agbonlahor will miss another two weeks after being put on a ‘personal fitness program’. Fans across the board were taken aback by the idea that, in this day and age, a Premiership footballer needs a break at the end of the season to lose a couple of pounds. It is, quite frankly, unbelievable, like so much else at Aston Villa this season.
Apart from Jordan Amavi and Gabby Agbonlahor, Black looks likely to have a fully fit squad.
Alan Hutton is back after being suspended last week and he will hope to regain his place in the starting line-up.
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney was slowly eased back into action after missing almost two months through injury. With the Euros approaching, Rooney has been taking part in extra training sessions and has also been playing for his club’s Under 21 side.
Ander Herrera looks set to miss the game against Aston Villa because he sustained a foot injury in the mid-week FA Cup clash against West Ham United.
Bastian Schweinsteiger was ruled out for the rest of the season yesterday, as Louis Van Gaal explained that the German international had injured his knee. His recovery will probably rule him out until late May.
Luke Shaw is still recovering from his broken leg and remains a long term absentee.
The danger men:
The rise of Marcus Rashford this year has been nothing short of brilliant. At a time when Louis Van Gaal was out of options up front because of injury, he put his faith in the eighteen-year-old. It has paid dividends so far. The teenager has proved in recent weeks that he isn’t just a flash in the pan as he has scored vital goals for Manchester United.
With that being said, Anthony Martial is a player who could be one of the biggest names in world football soon enough. His skill is remarkable and I’d imagine he is a nightmare for defenders to play against. Lightning quick, Martial also has brilliant footwork to get out of tight situations and has scored a few great individuals goals since signing for United.
The Villans have lost eight games in a row now, totalling twenty-three losses to date in the Premier League in 2015-16.
In all competitions, the Villans have lost the last five games (L L L L L).
The Villans have also lost four of their last five away games in the league, drawing one (L L L L D).
The Red Devils, on the other hand, have been in good form of late.
In all competitions, the Red Devils have won three, lost one and drawn one (W L W W D).
At home, Manchester United have won three and drawn two of their last five matches (W D D W W).
In the past:
In the corresponding game earlier this season, Adnan Januzaj scored a solitary goal to win the game for the Reds. It was a game in which the hosts never threatened at all. It was a shame because Louis Van Gaal’s men were there for the taking, but the Villans didn’t get near enough to cause any problems.
Today’s visitors have not managed to beat Manchester United in their last five attempts at Old Trafford. Manchester United have won all five games.
It doesn’t make good reading at all, does it?