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Aston Villa logo
Premier League | Gameweek 24
Feb 11, 2024 at 4.30pm UK
Villa Park
Manchester United logo
Aston Villa
1 - 2
Man Utd
Luiz (67')
Lenglet (45+4'), Cash (60'), Diaby (71')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Hojlund (17'), McTominay (86')
Casemiro (37'), Mainoo (45+4')

Preview: Aston Villa vs. Manchester United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Manchester United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With the walls of their fortress falling down, Aston Villa endeavour to record just their second win in six matches when a revitalised Manchester United visit Villa Park on Sunday afternoon.

The Lions' FA Cup run came to an end with a 3-1 loss to Chelsea in Wednesday's fourth-round replay, while the Red Devils cruised past West Ham United 3-0 in their last Premier League outing.

Match preview

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery on January 30, 2024© Reuters

All good things must come to an end, and they certainly have for Aston Villa, who welcome Man United to their West Midlands headquarters on the back of successive 3-1 defeats on home soil - a far cry from their history-making 15-match winning run in front of their own supporters.

Few gave Chelsea a chance of trumping the Lions in Wednesday's FA Cup rematch, but to fans' and pundits' surprise, the Blues dominated Unai Emery's meek men from start to finish and deservedly reached round five thanks to Conor Gallagher, Nicolas Jackson and Enzo Fernandez's efforts before Moussa Diaby pulled one back.

Emery's penchant for knockout tournaments mattered little against the inspired Blues, whose success at Villa Park came one week after Newcastle United's identical success on the Villains' soil, although the hosts' most recent Premier League affair saw them hit sorry Sheffield United for five without reply.

Qualification for the 2024-25 Champions League remains in Villa's hands as Emery's men sit fourth in the table, although Tottenham Hotspur will bump them down to fifth if they beat Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday, and the Lions will be eight points adrift of Manchester City on the same number of games if the champions sink Everton on February 10.

In spite of their recent shortcomings, Villa can still be relied upon to make the net bulge at Villa Park - they are on a sensational 32-game scoring streak on familiar territory in all competitions - but Erik ten Hag's reborn Red Devils crop need no attacking masterclass themselves.

Manchester United's Alejandro Garnacho celebrates scoring their second goal with Rasmus Hojlund and Kobbie Mainoo on February 4, 2024© Reuters

Emulating the Holy Trinity of George Best, Denis Law and Sir Bobby Charlton will take some doing for any soul fortunate enough to don the Man United jersey, but three of Ten Hag's promising prospects are currently doing their bit to pay homage to the aforementioned icons.

Last weekend's visit of West Ham United - who saw off the Red Devils at the London Stadium as recently as December - would ostensibly prove to be a tricky affair for Man United, but Ten Hag's men ultimately made light work of the Irons, who succumbed to a Rasmus Hojlund opener and Alejandro Garnacho brace at Old Trafford.

The duo invited fellow young star Kobbie Mainoo to join them arm-in-arm on the advertising boards as Man United prolonged their near-flawless start to 2024, in which they have come up trumps in four of their five fixtures across the Premier League and FA Cup, the one aberration being a 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.

By virtue of seeing off the Irons, Man United leapfrogged David Moyes's men into sixth place in the Premier League table, but the gap to fourth-placed Villa currently stands at eight points, and 31 goals scored remains the worst attacking record of its kind in the English top flight.

Ten Hag's team have gone some way to rectifying their previous attacking mistakes, though - chalking up 11 goals in their last three fixtures and 19 in their last seven - and they recorded their third successive win over Villa with an enthralling 3-2 comeback victory on Boxing Day, where Hojlund let emotion take over after belatedly opening his Premier League account.

Aston Villa Premier League form:

Aston Villa form (all competitions):

Manchester United Premier League form:

Manchester United form (all competitions):

Team News

Manchester United's Lisandro Martinez with manager Erik ten Hag after sustaining an injury on February 4, 2024© Reuters

Aston Villa boss Emery will have Morgan Rogers back at his disposal after the ex-Middlesbrough winger was ineligible for the FA Cup loss to Chelsea, where Nicolo Zaniolo and Pau Torres were also given the green light to make the matchday squad after shaking off injuries.

However, Ezri Konsa will miss between three and four weeks of action with a knee problem - issues in the same area are also keeping Tyrone Mings and Emiliano Buendia out for the long-term - while striker Jhon Duran is also on the road to recovery from a serious hamstring concern.

Only Lucas Digne (thigh) is in with a chance of making his Lions comeback this weekend, where Emery should consider promoting Diaby, Torres and Jacob Ramsey to the first XI after Wednesday's pitiful performance.

While Villa might be boosted by a rearguard return, Man United's luckless centre-back Lisandro Martinez came off on the 71-minute mark with a knee injury against West Ham, and the Argentine is now confirmed to be missing for at least eight weeks in another cruel blow to his Red Devils career.

Martinez forms part of a quintet of injury-related absentees for Man United, who are still without Anthony Martial (groin), Tyrell Malacia (knee) and Mason Mount (calf), while Aaron Wan-Bissaka exited Thursday's training session with an unspecified problem and will miss the trip to Villa Park too.

Raphael Varane should be a straight swap for the stricken Martinez in the Red Devils defence, but Ten Hag otherwise has no need to tinker with a winning formula, as Hojlund bids to become the youngest player in Man United history to score in five-straight Premier League games.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Torres, Lenglet, Moreno; Luiz, Kamara; Diaby, Tielemans, McGinn; Watkins

Manchester United possible starting lineup:
Onana; Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Shaw; Mainoo, Casemiro; Garnacho, Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund

SM words green background

We say: Aston Villa 2-3 Manchester United

Rediscovering a clinical edge has been key to Man United's striking renaissance, as they have converted 20% of their shots from their last five games, having only seen 3% of their attempts find the back of the net in their previous five fixtures before that.

However, Ten Hag's men are far from watertight at the back and will rue the loss of Martinez too, giving rise to an absorbing affair against an Aston Villa side who have not been shut out on home soil since October 2022.

Emery should get the reaction desired from his side after their deserved FA Cup elimination, but with a merciless Man United as confident as they have ever been this season, the Red Devils should fight fire with fire and travel back to Old Trafford revelling in a fourth consecutive win.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Today's games header
Tables header RHS
2Manchester CityMan City26185359263359
4Aston Villa27174659372255
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs26155655391650
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd26142103636044
7West Ham UnitedWest Ham2712694347-442
8Newcastle UnitedNewcastle271241157451240
9Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2710984944539
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves27115114043-338
14Crystal Palace2777133247-1528
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2766153449-1524
18Luton TownLuton2655163754-1720
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2634192266-4413

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