Aston Villa vs Manchester United – Pre-game Assessment

If Villa fans had any doubt as to how the team would respond to adversity, they found the answer this week.  The first acquisitions under Gerrard’s management confirm the level of commitment of the management and the owners.

By adding Phillipe Coutinho and Lucas Digne a day apart, they signaled that the rest of the Premier League had better watch out.  There is now international quality in each position and plenty of high caliber backup on the bench.  Only the elite teams can match them in talent.

What our Villans have, that some others don’t, is the hunger to turn that capability into results.  While Manchester United have even more talent on their books, the team is far from a cohesive unit with many of the marquee players more focused on their stats and not the team’s success.

That Man U managed to prevail at home to Villa in the FA Cup on Monday was attributable to a bizarre call of obstruction against Ramsey that was unrelated to the goal scored by Danny Ings.  For whatever reason, the referee, Michael Oliver, was determined to negate a legitimate goal against the home team at Old Trafford.

Back in Villa Park, I back our Villans to complete the double over Man U!  What a great start for our new boys (Coutinho and Digne) that will be, especially if fate allows them to participate in the scoring.

Prediction: Aston Villa 2, Manchester United 1

UTV.

Likely Starting xi:

Aston Villa (4,3,3): Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Luiz, Ramsey, Sanson, Watkins, Ings, Buendía

Man U.: de Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Varane, Maguire, Telles, Matic, Fred, Rashford, Fernandes, Cavani, Greenwood

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