Monday 18th January
F.A. Cup – Third Round
@Old Trafford, Manchester
KO: 19:55 GMT
Aston Villa make a return to Old Trafford tonight as they begin their F.A. Cup campaign with a tricky tie against Manchester United with a home tie against Middlesbrough on offer for the winners in the fourth round.
The Villans will look to win for a second time there this season following a 1-0 win in the Premier League fixture in which both teams had different managers in charge.
This is the first time the teams have met in the competition since the 2007-08 season having been drawn against each other four times out of seven years in the F.A. Cup between 2001-02 and 2007-08.
The tie will mark the end of an exciting Third Round which has delivered wins for Non-League outfits Kidderminster Harriers and Boreham Wood as well as notable shock wins for Cambridge United and Nottingham Forest over Newcastle United and Arsenal respectively.
Villa come into the game off the back of two league defeats to Chelsea and Brentford and Manchester United themselves come off a loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers in which Wolves notched up a record amount of first half shots at Old Trafford.
Ralf Rangnick is still settling in and is attempting to stamp his principles in place so it is another game which offers an opportunity for Villa to give it a go with no fear.
This season’s previous meeting saw Villa win with a late header from Kortney Hause followed by an injury time penalty miss from Bruni Fernandes for the Red Devils.
Manchester United Team News
Victor Lindelof is expected to return for the game following a three game absence due to COVID.
Harry Maguire remains doubtful and was reported to be absent as the players arrived at the Hyatt this afternoon ahead of the game.
If there is anything to read into this, Jadon Sancho, Dean Henderson, Anthony Martial, Phil Jones and Cristiano Ronaldo were also not seen.
Paul Pogba continues to miss out as he continues to try and recover from a groin injury.
Possible starting line up:
Heaton, Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles, Fred, McTominay, Fernandes, Greenwood, Cavani, Rashford
Aston Villa Team News
Villa will close to full strength and very few changes would be expected.
John McGinn will start ahead of a one-match ban through suspension.
New signing Philippe Coutinho will not feature as he travels to the U.K. following his transfer from Barcelona.
Marvelous Nakamba remains side-lined alongside Leon Bailey with Bertrand Traore on African Nations duty with Burkina Faso.
Possible starting line up:
Martinez, Targett, Mings, Konsa, Cash, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey, Buendia, Ings, Watkins
Head to Head record:
Manchester United 101 wins, 40 Draws, Aston Villa 50 wins
Last five meetings:
25 Sep 2021 – Manchester United 0-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)
09 May 2021 – Aston Villa 1-3 Manchester United (Premier League)
01 Jan 2021 – Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)
09 Jul 2020 – Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United (Premier League)
01 Dec 2019 – Manchester United 2-2 Aston Villa (Premier League)
AVILLAFAN MATCH PREDICTION
Always a tricky one to call as team line-ups are unpredictable. Whilst Ralf Rangnick will want a reaction, I have a feeling Villa may sneak this one which is a measure of our improvement that I am even contemplating a Villa win at Old Trafford!
Manchester United 1-2 Aston Villa (Hopefully not extra time!)
Tip of the day
If you back the score prediction, the 2-1 win for Aston Villa is available at around 12/1 currently.
Manchester United win – 8/11
Draw – 29/10
Aston Villa win – 7/2
I can see the midfield being key for goals tonight with Wolves getting so many opportunities last week and Joao Moutinho getting the all-important goal. John McGinn is 4/1 to score anytime (12/1 first goalscorer) and Jacob Ramsey is 16/1 to score anytime (11/2 first goalscorer).
If you combine the 2-1 and either player to score first, John McGinn is 100/1 and Jacob Ramsey 130/1!
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