Manchester United host Aston Villa at Old Trafford for the first match of 2021 on Friday, and it is an important one for both teams. United, sitting in second in the Premier League look to stay there while a win for Villa and they could see themselves in the top three, possibly above United.
Match Build Up
United have an excellent record against Aston Villa in the Premier League and haven’t been defeated in any of the last 15 head-to-heads with the West Midlands side. The Villains have tasted league victory just once at Old Trafford since 1989, with that win coming in December 2009, courtesy of a solitary Gabby Agbonlahor header.
Last season’s iteration of this fixture ended 2-2, with a Tom Heaton own goal and Lindelof’s effort overturning an early Jack Grealish wonder strike, prior to Mings’s equalizer. That stalemate ended a run of six consecutive Reds wins against Villa in M16, with United scoring three or more goals in five of those encounters, and if United take all three points on Friday, it’ll bring up a century of victories versus the Villains – we’ve never achieved that against a single opponent.
United Team News
Anthony Martial is expected to earn a recall for United, taking the place of Edinson Cavani in attack. Luke Shaw, Fred, and Scott McTominay should also come into the side as replacements for Alex Telles, Nemanja Matic, and Paul Pogba.
While Eric Bailly is showing no ill-effects on his return to the starting lineup, Solskjaer could avoid taking any risks with Victor Lindelof’s back problem.
With Villa defender, Tyrone Mings returning from suspension, one of Kortney Hause or Ezri Konsa will drop down to the substitutes’ bench. Having recovered from a hamstring injury, Ross Barkley is in line to replace Bertrand Traore.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial