Preview: Aston Villa vs Manchester United

The 2015/16 Premier League season kicked off in spectacular fashion last weekend, with Manchester United narrowly edging out Spurs via a Kyle Walker own goal.  The game was rather dull and both teams looked off the pace. United were particularly pedestrian like, managing to register only a single shot at goal all afternoon.

Most United fans won’t really mind, because those were three precious points against stern opposition on the first day of the season. If you would have told me to take a 1-0 before the game I would have done it without blinking. After all, in sports, it’s all about the score.

In case you were wondering why the fixture is on Friday, its because there is a English Defence League march taking place in the West Midlands area,which is home to Villa Park so the police asked the match to be moved back a day to Friday. It could not be played on Sunday due to United’s Champions league qualifier against Club Brugge on Tuesday night.

ANALYSIS

Both sides produced under par performances last weekend and will look to improve on that if they are to get anything in the game. United will be looking to go all out for the three points so as to steal the march on their rivals, with Chelsea and Arsenal having already dropped points on the opening day and Chelsea facing Manchester City later on Sunday.

PREVIOUS MEETING

United beat villa 3-1 at old Trafford time out, with Ander Herrera the star man bagging two neat finishes, and Wayne Rooney completing the rout with a deft finish. The reverse fixture saw the hosts hold United to a 1-1 draw.

MATCH STATS

  • Aston Villa have not beaten Manchester United at home in the Premier League since August 1995 (D7 L12)
  • Wayne Rooney has scored more Premier League goals against Villa than any other side (13)
  • Since the start of 2013/14, Rude Gestede has scored 20 headed league goals; more than anyone else in the top four tiers of English football.
  • Manchester United have kept a clean sheet in all three Premier League games that David De Gea has missed since the start of 2013-14.

TEAM NEWS

Louis Van Gaal confirmed that David De Gea will continue his absence from first team action at Villa Park due to his transfer dilemma. Phil Jones is the only absentee through illness, and Marcos Rojo’s fitness is still below par for him to play.

Gary Gardener, Jores Okore and Jack Grealish are all out of contention for Aston Villa due to injuries.

PREDICTED LINE UPS

UNITED XI: Romero, Shaw, Smalling, Blind, Darmian, Carrick, Schneiderlin, Mata, Young, Memphis, Rooney (c)

Villa XI: Guzan, Amavi, Clark, Richards(c), Bacuna, Westwood, Gueye, Veretout, Sinclair, Ayew, Gestede

PREDICTION

Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester United

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