Last updated & checked: 10/08/2021
Fans of these sides will be used to the feeling of frustration. Both teams promise so much at times and then fail to capitalise: so many times momentum has been won and lost. Manchester United’s potential hardly needs to be stated. Anything less than greatness is a disappointment. However, you can’t blame the way in which they have seesawed between success and failure on overly high expectations. For every victory over Brighton, there’s a draw against Sheffield or a loss internationally, and so it has gone on for what feels like an age.
Aston Villa are slightly different, in that while their results are worse overall than Manchester United’s, their performances feel like they deserve more. Just look at their astonishing fight against Liverpool for proof of that. A recent victory against Newcastle has raised their fans’ hopes once more. Could now be the time they capitalise?
Manchester United vs Aston Villa Prediction: Man United 2-0 Aston Villa
When you look at the results of both teams, they both go back-and-forth. However, there’s no doubting whose momentum swings more closely to the negative. The Premier League standings speak for themselves and although these two aren’t a world apart in ability, the fact is that United simply manage to be successful more often than Villa, even in trying times. While a performance like we saw against Liverpool would make Villa a force to be reckoned with, it’s far from their typical display of skill. With that in mind, we have to conclude that Manchester United are the most likely winners, with a scoreline prediction of 2-0.
Our recommended tip: Rashford scores first
Our recommended tip this time is far from sophisticated we’re afraid, as it follows some very simple reasoning. We think that Manchester United are likely to win this game, and their highest scorer by far this tournament is Marcus Rashford by quite some margin. Because of that, the chances of him being the first goalscorer is, in our opinion, also pretty good. You could also have him as last or anytime goalscorer, and we’d also view those as pretty smart bets. You’ll find medium-risk 7/2 odds on a prediction for Rashford to score first at 32Red.
Considering the difference in accolades for these two teams, it’s probably of little surprise to anyone that Manchester United dominate their head-to-head history. What may surprise you though is the extent of their winning record against Aston Villa. They last lost in this fixture almost a decade ago on 12th December 2009. To put that into perspective, that’s 14 games in a row that Villa were unable to defeat Manchester United, with 11 of them being losses. If you think that’s something, consider that their second to last win was in 1999. There’s no doubt, it’s a huge historical advantage to United.
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Players to watch: Fred & Conor Hourihane
Manchester United: Fred
While Marcus Rashford would be the obvious choice for player to watch here – we are, according to our recommended tip, considering him to be a huge part of the result of this match – we decided to go with Fred. He’s the glue which held Manchester United together during their last Premier League victory over Brighton. Manchester needs that kind of cohesion and reliability right now, and Fred might just be the man to give it to them.
Aston Villa: Conor Hourihane
Just as we did with United, we’ll be looking at Villa’s last successful Premier League outing – which was their last game in their case – for inspiration for our player to watch. It was between Jack Grealish and Conor Hourihane but we decided to go with the latter for the slightly more consistent performance. He scored one goal and was involved in another.