Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is well aware that our form of late hasn’t been great but following improvements against West Brom and Everton he is hopeful we can finish the Premier League season strong.
Aston Villa v Manchester United
Sunday, 9th May 2021 – 14.05 (GMT)
Villa Park, Birmingham
Live on Sky Sports Main Event & Football.
Aston Villa returns to Villa Park today to take on Manchester United in the first of five games in three weeks.
The 1-2 win over Everton will give Smith’s boss some much-needed confidence after many accused them of already sitting on the beach. Although I think any hopes of a late European charge are gone, it would be nice to finish the season strong. We all know just how strong Villa have been this season apart from the two-month blip (January-March). Overall, the improvements are all there to see and we don’t want those achievements to be overlooked because a bad patch of form.
Manchester United have made their feelings known about the number of games they now find themselves left with following the protest (that needed to happen) last weekend called off their game with Liverpool.
If you include their game against Roma on Thursday, Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer’s men will play four games in seven days. The problem for them is I don’t see where another game gets dropped in at this stage of the season.
United are still fighting to confirm second in the Premier League table with Chelsea just three points behind them now, although they have played two more games than United.
A lot has been made about Villa’s away form this season but United have a record, only bettered by Manchester City. They are still undefeated on the road in 17 games this season and will no doubt, want to finish the season unbeaten on the road.
Smith has no new injury concerns to worry about but does have slightly good news on our captain.
Jack Grealish returned to training with the first team yesterday but this game will come too soon for him. Hopefully, there are no setbacks and we see him back in the first team very soon.
Morgan Sanson is still unavailable but will return to training next week.
United will have to make tough decisions given their schedule in the next week. Harry Maguire has been an ever-present this season but will they risk his fitness for a record?
Anthony Martial and Phil Jones (both knee) will miss the game while there are doubts over Daniel James (unknown).
Referee: Chris Kavanagh.
Assistants: Constantine Hatzidakis, Sian Massey-Ellis. Fourth official: Martin Atkinson. VAR: Jarred Gillett. Assistant VAR: Lee Betts.
Last three against Manchester United (all competitions)
Our record against Manchester United is nothing short of embarrassing. They have beat us more twice the number of times (100) that we have beaten them (49) and our recent record reflects this.
January 2021: Lost 2-1 (Old Trafford)
July 2020: Lost 0-3 (Villa Park)
December 2019: Drawn 2-2 (Old Trafford)
Did you know
As I already alluded to, Aston Villa’s record against Manchester United is woeful. We have won just once in the last 44 Premier League encounters (D11, L32).
The fourteen clean sheets Villa have this season are the most since in the Premier League since 2009/10 (15).
Bruno Fernandes has scored in both his games against Aston Villa. Both came from the penalty spot and turned out to be the winner.
Aston Villa have picked up seven points from a possible eighteen. They are undefeated in two games though following the games against West Brom and Everton.
Manchester United on the other hand have 16 from their last 18 available making them the most in-form team in the division.