No, it’s not déjà vu. Aston Villa and Manchester United just met in the third round of the FA Cup. The Red Devils won 1-0 at Old Trafford despite resting several starters, including Cristiano Ronaldo. Aston Villa did something similar and put up a good fight, including two goals that were disallowed by VAR after a long delay.
Now it’s time for United to visit Villa Park in a crucial English Premier League game. Both lost in the last fixture, so no alternative lineups for this one. The visiting Red Devils come in as the slight betting online favorites +145, hinting it’s going to be another close match.
Aston Villa, Manchester United Meet … Again
New Era Under Gerrard
After a successful stint in the Scottish Premiership, Steven Gerrard decided to take the next step in his coaching career. Aston Villa, and all soccer betting enthusiasts, have high expectations after what he did with Rangers. He led them to win their first title since 2011 with an unbeaten record.
I know, the Scottish Premiership doesn’t compare to the EPL, but don’t forget that Gerrard played 17 years for Liverpool. He knows what he’s getting into.
Last week, Aston Villa lost 2-1 against Brentford in his EPL debut. Nevertheless, Villa finished with more shots on target and won possession with 55 percent. Danny Ings scored for the Villans, his fourth of the season. Only Ollie Watkins has scored more with five.
The most significant change since Gerrard took over has to do with the team’s formation. They went from playing 4-4-2 to 4-3-3. That allows them to put more pressure on the opponent’s defense and create more second chances.
They seem to be a lot more confident when playing at home, where they own a 4-1-4 record (3-0-7 on the road). That and offering a +195 price makes them a tempting soccer betting underdog. Winning could boost them up to the top 10.
Aston Villa’s predicted lineup: Damian Martinez; Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Kortney Hause, Matt Targett; John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Jacob Ramsey; Bertrand Traore, Danny Ings, Emiliano Buendia.
Red Devils Aiming for Top Five
At the beginning of the week, I said that Manchester United can forget about the EPL title. However, the Red Devils still have a lot at stake.
For starters, if the season ended today, they would finish in seventh place. That’s simply unacceptable for such a talented, and expensive, roster. To qualify for a UEFA competition, they need to conclude the season among the top five. Not playing the Champions League would be a failure for them, and especially for Cristiano Ronaldo.
Second, a lot of players are on trial. Don’t forget that Ralf Rangnick is an interim coach. He’s expected to serve as the main advisor for the new coaching staff.
Most recently, Manchester United lost 1-0 to Wolverhampton at Old Trafford. They really missed center back Harry Maguire, who’s expected to return. Maguire and Raphael Varane have the potential to become the best defensive duo in the league.
Curiously enough, United has lost more games at home than on the road. Their record away from home is 4-3-2 (5-1-4 at home). That’s one of the reasons for them to control the Las Vegas odds The other one is that Ronaldo, Maguire, Jadon Sancho, Alex Telles and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are well-rested. Neither played midweek in the FA Cup. Fresher legs can make a huge difference.
Manchester United’s predicted lineup: David de Gea, Diogo Dalot, Raphael Varane, Harry Maguire, Alex Telles; Scott McTominay, Fred; Jadon Sancho, Bruno Fernandes; Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani.
Aston Villa vs Manchester United Head to Head
- Previous Matches: 193
- Aston Villa Victories: 51 (247 goals)
- Manchester United Victories: 102 (353 goals)
- Draws: 40
These teams recently collided in the third round of the FA Cup, but there’s more. They already met in the EPL and Aston Villa pulled off the upset at Old Trafford. The Villans won 1-0 on to a goal from Hause. Manchester United could have tied it, but Fernandes missed a penalty with no time left on the clock.
The Villans were offering a +700 price, meaning the payout for a $100 bet was $800.
Don’t feel bad for the Red Devils. They won seven of their last 10 meetings with Villa. Regarding the total, it went over in six of those 10 matches.
Aston Villa vs Manchester United Game Information
Time: 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Villa Park, Birmingham
Aston Villa vs Manchester United Live Stream: fuboTV
Aston Villa vs Manchester United Betting Lines
Aston Villa vs Manchester United Prediction
I believe in Gerrard, but I also believe he’s going to need more time to fully change the team’s mentality. Meanwhile, Aston Villa will keep putting up a good fight, including Saturday when playing host to Manchester United. Having met twice already, each team knows the other well enough to not expect any surprises. That’s why my football prediction is a draw, with both scoring and the total going under.
Score Prediction: Aston Villa 1, Manchester United 1