If Aston Villa are to stand any chance of a top-four Premier League finish they’ll need to pick up all three points in this game at Old Trafford. We look ahead to the match with our Man United vs Aston Villa prediction and stats preview.
Man United vs Aston Villa: Quick Stats
- The Opta supercomputer predicts a Man United home win in this game versus Aston Villa (48.9%)
- Aston Villa haven’t won both Premier League games against Man Utd within a season since 1954-55.
- Marcus Rashford needs one more goal in 2022-23 to become the first Man Utd player to reach 30 goals in a season since Robin van Persie 10 years ago.
It’s been 68 years since Aston Villa did the home/away league double over Manchester United in a season – a feat managed before manager Unai Emery was even born. Emery is the man that oversaw the home leg of a potential double here, in his first game in charge of Villa back in November.
Aston Villa’s transformation under their Spanish boss has been nothing short of remarkable. On the morning of his first game in charge, Villa were 17th and two points off the bottom of the Premier League table with 13 games played. Under the former Arsenal boss, Villa have picked up 42 points in 20 Premier League games, which is only fewer than Arsenal (44) across his tenure.
Villa did secure a victory at Old Trafford in the Premier League last season, winning 1-0 thanks to a last gasp Kortney Hause header – and a missed Bruno Fernandes penalty deep into injury time – but winning back-to-back league games there as an away side isn’t easy, with them last doing so back in 1930.
It’ll be even harder for Villa to pick up a much-needed win in their quest for European football next season when you consider United’s home form. The Red Devils are now unbeaten in 14 successive EPL games at Old Trafford (W11 D3), which is the current longest run in the competition. They haven’t lost a league game at home since their opening day defeat to Brighton in Erik ten Hag’s first game in charge.
Villa have lost just one of their nine league away games under Emery, however – this came at Manchester City in February (3-1). Villa will be missing the quartet of Matty Cash, Boubacar Kamara, Leon Bailey and Philippe Coutinho for this trip, while Manchester United have a defensive injury crisis. Harry Maguire didn’t feature in the line-up for the midweek draw at Spurs, with Lisandro Martínez, Raphael Varane and Phil Jones already ruled out, while midfielders Scott McTominay and Donny van de Beek will also be missing.
Manchester United 4-2 Aston Villa: 10 November 2022 (League Cup)
Not many people would have expected this match to end up producing six goals when the two sides went into half-time goalless, but an extremely entertaining second half saw Man United progress to the fourth round of the EFL Cup with a 4-2 win, on the way to securing the trophy at Wembley in February in the final.
Aston Villa led 2-1 just after the hour-mark, thanks to goals from Ollie Watkins and a Diogo Dalot own goal, however Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Scott McTominay added to Antony Martial’s opening goal of the match to see United through.
Much of United’s success of the night came through the youthful brilliance of substitute Alejandro Garnacho, who terrorised the Villa defence following his introduction at 2-1 down on the hour.
This was revenge for a Premier League defeat at Villa Park just four days earlier, with Aston Villa winning 3-1 in Unai Emery’s first match in charge of the club.
It was their first Premier League win at home against Man Utd since 1995, but a blistering start helped them on their way. Villa were 2-0 up inside 11 minutes thanks to strikes from Leon Bailey in the opening minute and an excellent Lucas Digne free-kick past David de Gea 10 minutes later.
Manchester United responded with a goal just before half-time – Luke Shaw’s shot deflecting off Jacob Ramsey and past his own goalkeeper Emi Martinez. However, Ramsey scored at the right end of the pitch to secure Villa’s win just four minutes after half-time to seal the win.
Unai Emery has made Villa one of the ‘form teams’ ever since his arrival at the club – only Man City (2.28) have averaged more points per game than them (2.10) in the Premier League since he took charge, while only Arsenal have collected more points (44) than they have (42). They’ve also collected 20 points in nine league games away from home under Emery, which is fewer than only Arsenal (23) and Newcastle United (21).
Villa have kept a clean sheet in nine of their 20 Premier League games under Unai Emery – it’s just one fewer than Arsenal kept in 51 league games under the Spaniard (10).
Their current unbeaten run of 10 games in the Premier League is only equalled by Man City (11), with eight wins and two draws since 25 February in the competition. They secured a 1-0 win at home to Fulham on Tuesday night thanks to a Tyrone Mings goal, following their 1-1 draw at Brentford at the weekend – Douglas Luiz winning a point in that match with his 87th-minute strike.
Manchester United surrendered a two-goal lead on Thursday night at Tottenham Hotspur. They led thanks to first half goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, but only came away with a point.
United had more luck at the weekend, defeating Brighton in a penalty shootout in their FA Cup semi-final at Wembley following a 0-0 draw – a perfect way to get over UEFA Europa League elimination at the hands of La Liga side Sevilla just three days earlier.
Manchester United: Marcus Rashford
Marcus Rashford scored his 29th competitive goal for Manchester United in 2022-23 at Tottenham on Thursday night and is now just one goal away from the ‘magic’ 30-goal mark.
The last Man Utd player to reach 30 competitive goals in a season was Robin van Persie in Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge (2012-13), with his 30 goals the most by a United player in a season since Wayne Rooney grabbed 34 in 2009-10.
Erik ten Hag has got the best out of Rashford this season, with this the England international’s best goal return in a single campaign, as well as the England international’s best minutes per goal ratio at the club in a season (131). This comes after arguably his worst season as a professional, when he scored just five goals in 32 appearances in 2021-22.
Aston Villa: Ollie Watkins
Ollie Watkins has been one of the most consistent Premier League forwards since his arrival at Aston Villa from Brentford in the summer of 2020. Across those three seasons, only three players have scored more Premier League goals than the England international (39), while his 14 goals this season have already equalled his best return in the competition (14 in 2020-21).
Watkins has flourished under the management of Emery, with 12 goals in 19 appearances under the Spanish boss at Villa – only Erling Haaland (15) and Harry Kane (14) have scored more goals in the Premier League across this period.
Watkins has also scored in six of his last seven Premier League away appearances. His goalless 90-minute app at Brentford last weekend ended an exceptional run of six successive away games scored in, netting against Leicester City, Chelsea, West Ham, Everton, Man City and Southampton since 21 January in the competition.
Man United vs Aston Villa Prediction
Manchester United are expected to win this match by the Opta supercomputer before kick-off, with a 48.9% chance of victory at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.
Villa really need to win in order to have a realistic chance of a top four finish and UEFA Champions League football in 2023-24, but the Opta supercomputer rates their chances on Sunday at just 23.8%.
As it stands, Villa are being given just a 0.23% chance to finish in the top four of the English top-flight standings for the first time since 1995-96 in our seasonal Premier League predictions – this is just below Tottenham (0.32%) and Brighton (0.7%), while Liverpool have the best chance of the ‘outsiders’ at 8.7%. The UEFA Europa League might be a little more realistic for Villa (5.9% chance), but they’ve played more games than their rivals around them.
Manchester United have all but secured UCL football next season (94.5%), just behind Newcastle (95.5%) as top-four favourites in the Opta supercomputer’s projections after Arsenal and Man City secured UCL football for next season.