Two of the Premier League’s top six meet at Villa Park on Sunday, as Aston Villa and Manchester United go head-to-head.
It’s the visitors who are in the better form going into the clash, but Erik Ten Hag faces yet more injury problems as he prepares for the trip to the West Midlands.
That will boost Villa’s hopes that they can bounce back from two disappointing home results and keep their Champions League hopes on track.
- Aston Villa to win
- Over 2.5 Goals
- Bruno Fernandes to score
Dangerous Villa To Hand United Setback
Despite winning one of their last three Premier League games, Aston Villa remain inside the top four and eight points clear of Sunday’s opponents.
A thumping 5-0 win at Sheffield United was sandwiched in-between two 3-1 home defeats – against Newcastle in the league and Chelsea in the FA Cup.
That defeat to the Magpies last month was their only home defeat in 11 league matches at Villa Park this season, where they have beaten the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal.
United’s form has improved in recent weeks and they are unbeaten in five games in all competitions, which includes back-to-back league wins over Wolves and West Ham.
When you drill down into their Premier League away record though, it doesn’t make good reading for United backers, with just one win in five on the road.
There has also been a major setback on the injury front this week, with the news that Lisandro Martinez faces another spell on the sidelines.
The Argentinian international will be out until April at the earliest, due to a knee ligament issue, with United having looked more secure with him at the back in the last couple of games.
Goals On The Agenda
Not many teams have a bigger goal threat than Aston Villa, who have scored 49 goals in the Premier League this season, with 30 of those coming at Villa Park.
The Red Devils have not been as prolific, but they have started to find the net with regularity in recent weeks – scoring 15 goals in their last five games in all competitions.
There were five goals scored when the two sides met at Old Trafford on Boxing Day, when Ten Hag’s men came back from two goals down to win the match 3-2.
It’s also worth noting that there have been over 2.5 goals in four of their last five competitive meetings, including a 3-1 win for Villa in this fixture last season.
Fernandes To Cause Villa Problems
Villa, like some Premier League teams, struggle to work out just how best to deal with the United captain Bruno Fernandes.
The Portuguese ace has scored four goals in the last five competitive meetings between the teams, including a brace in the Villa Park clash in 2022.
With Fernandes on penalties and often taking set-pieces in and around the penalty area, he looks a good bet to be on the scoresheet again on Sunday.