Kick-off: 2000, 01/01/2021
Stadium: Old Trafford
TV: Sky Sports
Manchester United and Aston Villa have both been in fine form over the festive period, but the Red Devils may have the fresher legs for this contest.
Due to a superior strength in depth, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been able to mix up his teams, whereas Dean Smith has largely stuck with the same side.
That could take its toll at Old Trafford and 11/4 for a narrow home win by any one-goal margin is our first Man Utd vs Aston Villa prediction.
A Look At Manchester United’s Betting Odds
United were fortunate to edge out Wolves 1-0 on Tuesday night, with Marcus Rashford’s last-gasp deflected shot settling a tight tussle.
However, that result meant the Red Devils have picked up 23 points from the last 27 available and put them second in the table.
Although insisting it is too early to talk of a title challenge, Solskjaer said: “The belief is there. Of course, the players go into every game thinking we can win against anyone, anywhere.
“Away, we’ve shown what we’re capable of. I think we’re improving at home as well and this result is massive for confidence and for the attitude.”
United’s play was ponderous at times, with Nemanja Matic offering little going forward and Paul Pogba sitting too deep to make an impact.
Solskjaer can bring back the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay to inject some energy into midfield, though, while Anthony Martial looked lively when coming off the bench versus Wolves.
That win also highlighted how United have rediscovered the happy knack of netting crucial late goals, with only Leicester grabbing more in the last 15 minutes of matches this term.
“We brought it up early on in pre-season that we need to add more points towards the end of games,” added Solskjaer. “That’s something we do as a club.
“We’ve done that so many times in the past and we’ve done that quite a few times this season as well. Physically, we last games more.”
Looking at the Man Utd vs Aston Villa odds, we like 2/1 for the Red Devils to outscore their opponents between 75:01 minutes and full-time.
Last Man Utd line-up: De Gea, Bailly, Maguire, Telles, Wan-Bissaka, Pogba, Fernandes, Matic, Cavani, Rashford, Greenwood.
A Look At Aston Villa’s Betting Odds
Villa are unbeaten in five outings following a fine 1-1 draw at Chelsea, which gave us a 15/2 correct score pay-out in our preview of that game.
Anwar El Ghazi’s fifth goal in as many games cancelled out a first-half header from Olivier Giroud and the Midlands outfit are just four points behind United, with a game in hand.
From relegation battlers last term, Villa are on the cusp of a tangible shot at European qualification and Smith is fired up for this latest test of their development.
“We’re looking forward to it,” declared the head coach. “We had a good result there last year with a good performance in a 2-2 draw.
“They’ve added to their squad since and they’re a strong team, but with our results, we’ve proven to ourselves that we can go and compete against anybody.
“We’ll have total respect for them, but we certainly won’t be fearing them.”
We’re just concerned by how many Villa players have featured throughout a run of five matches in 16 days and will be asked to back up again here.
If United can play at a higher tempo than they did on Tuesday night, it could prove a case of Smith going to the well once too often with his regular starters.
Let’s add 15/2 for a 2-1 home victory to our Man Utd vs Aston Villa betting tips.
Last Villa line-up: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Targett, Hause, Luiz, McGinn, Grealish, El Ghazi, Watkins, Traore.
MAN UTD 1-0 Wolves – Rashford
Chelsea 1-1 ASTON VILLA – Anwar El Ghazi
Head-to-head: Aston Villa 0-3 Man Utd, Man Utd 2-2 Aston Villa, Man Utd 1-0 Aston Villa, Aston Villa 0-1 Man Utd
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