Manchester United vs Aston Villa preview: How to watch on tv, live stream, kick off time & team news

Tom McArdle
Dec 30, 2020, 5:15 PM GMT
Marcus Rashford celebrates his late winner against Wolves
Marcus Rashford celebrates his late winner against Wolves | Michael Regan/Getty Images
facebooktwitterreddit

Friday evening sees the New Year kick off with Manchester United hosting Aston Villa at Old Trafford in what is expected to be a cracker of a contest.

United capitalised on dropped points by teams around them to move up to second, courtesy of a very late winner against Wolves on Tuesday night. United could go top with a win over Villa, while the Villans could move up into third if they win the game.

With two of the highest scoring teams in the league locking horns, Friday's game could be a barnstormer. Here's everything you need to know.

Where to watch

When Is Kick Off? Friday 1 January
What Time Is Kick Off? 20:00 (GMT)
Where Is it Played? Old Trafford
TV Channel/Live Stream? Sky Sports (UK)
Referee? Michael Oliver

Team news

United remain without Marcus Rojo, who is set to return by mid-January after a calf injury. Victor Lindelof is also still a doubt with a knock he picked up against Leicester in the 2-2 draw on Boxing Day.

Mings is back from suspension and presumably the starting lineup
Mings is back from suspension and presumably the starting lineup | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Villa's Trezeguet and Wesley Moraes are both still out for an unspecified period with hamstring and knee injuries, respectively. Ross Barkley has a slight hamstring strain so is unlikely to start, while Tyrone Mings has served his one match suspension after his red card against Crystal Palace so will be available for selection to Dean Smith.

Predicted lineups

Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Telles; McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes; Greenwood, Martial, Rashford.

Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Hause, Mings, Targett; Luiz, McGinn; Traore, Grealish, El Ghazi; Watkins.

Recent form

United are unbeaten in the league since their 1-0 loss to Arsenal in early November. Solskjaer praised his team after the Wolves victory for 'being more robust' in their ability to win games late on.

Solskjaer enjoyed a 'Fergie-time' winner on Tuesday
Solskjaer enjoyed a 'Fergie-time' winner on Tuesday | Michael Regan/Getty Images

Now boasting a team that are 'more physically and mentally ready to move up the table', United are certainly showing that currently, picking up points even in games in which they're not at their best.

It is fair to say that Dean Smith's team have been the surprise package of the season so far. Having narrowly avoided the drop last season, their campaign to date has been pretty staggering.

Fifth in the table, and with a game in hand on those above them (two on Leicester), they have the tightest defence in the league and are unbeaten in five.

Consecutive 3-0 wins over Palace and West Brom were followed up by a very respectable point at Chelsea. An in-form United will offer another an opportunity to show that they can stay in the upper echelons of the table for the long term.

Here's how they have both got on in their last five games.

Manchester United

Manchester United 1-0 Wolves (29/12)
Leicester City 2-2 Manchester United (26/12)
Everton 0-2 Manchester United (23/12)
Manchester United 6-2 Leeds United (20/12)
Sheffield United 2-3 Manchester United (17/12)

Aston Villa

Chelsea 1-1 Aston Villa (28/12)
Aston Villa 3-0 Crystal Palace (26/12)
West Brom 0-3 Aston Villa (20/12)
Aston Villa 0-0 Burnley (17/12)
Wolves 0-1 Aston Villa (12/12)

Prediction

United struggled against a solid Wolves defence and only prevailed with an eventual Marcus Rashford winner, and if Villa can defend as they have done so far this season and not give United's forwards the space they crave in-behind, this game could be theirs for the taking.

Traore has looked electric on the wing
Traore has looked electric on the wing | Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Ollie Watkins, Jack Grealish and Bertrand Traore have looked in red hot form recently and could cause the cumbersome Harry Maguire some issues at the back.

This one could go either way.

Prediction: Manchester United 1-1 Aston Villa

facebooktwitterreddit