In the latest round of Barclays Premier League fixtures, we’re turning our attention to the West Midlands, where struggling Aston Villa host Champions League chasing Manchester United. Man United like to score and Villa are prone to conceding in numbers so a potential goalfest could be on the cards.
We’ve taken a look at the past meetings between these two sides and analysed this season’s form and stats to produce our best betting tips for this one. Villa can still escape relegation while United are the strongest looking side of all the top 4 challengers.
Having lost 3 and drawn 2 of their first 5 games since the restart, Aston Villa find themselves currently in the drop zone. Their only realistic chance of survival is keeping up the pace with Watford while seeing off Bournemouth, who are level on points with Villa, behind only due to inferior goal difference. With every game a must win at this stage, hosting an in-form and free scoring Man United will seem a daunting task for Dean Smith’s side. Their best hope for this one is hometown boy Jack Grealish who will be out to impress against a side tipped to employ him next season.
If the restart in June had been a new season, Manchester United would be top of the league, having gained 10 points from their first 4 games. A 1-1 draw against Tottenham in the opening game of the restart is the only points Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have dropped thus far. Despite their blistering form since the league’s resumption, United still sit 2 points adrift of the top 4, but should be confident of leapfrogging Leicester and Chelsea at some stage – both of whom have been inconsistent and both of whom United still have to play before the end of the season.
In their first meeting at Old Trafford this season, back in December, the sides shared the spoils in a 2-2 draw. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has very much steadied the ship since then however and Villa have slumped into relegation form, so a repeat of that result is highly unlikely. Before the match in December, the two teams hadn’t met since 2016, in a season that saw Villa get relegated to the Championship. This fixture hasn’t been a favourable one for Villa over the past few decades, as Villa have only beaten United twice since 1995, with their last win against the Reds being in December 2009.
We’ve compiled a list of interesting statistical highlights below as well as the results from the past 5 meetings between these sides. As the two sides hadn’t met since 2016 prior to their match in December, we’ll be looking more at this season’s form when coming up with our prediction.
Having analysed everything above, we’re predicting an emphatic United win on Thursday night against this struggling Villa side, with a few goals being bagged in the process.
Aston Villa have conceded 3 or more goals on 9 occasions this season, while Man United have scored 3 or more goals in their last 3 Premier League games. With a frightening front 3 of Martial, Rashford and the up and coming Mason Greenwood being backed up by a goal scoring midfielder in the form of Bruno Fernandes, we can predict plenty of action in front of the Villa goal on Thursday.
In their 5-2 victory over Bournemouth at the weekend, United did show signs of defensive frailties, so we wouldn’t rule out a Villa goal. However, given the fact Villa have scored just twice in 5 games since the restart, we wouldn’t put any money on them grabbing a goal.
Our betting tip for this week is therefore a Manchester United win and over 3.5 goals scored which you can place with Paddy Power on odds of 3.25.