Manchester United vs Aston Villa: What to expect when Erik ten Hag’s side welcomes Unai Emery’s boys

Despite having 59% possession on Sunday, the Red Devils could only manage eight shots in total and just three were on target.

Bruno Fernandes in a file photo; Credit: Manchester United Twitter
By Karthik Raman | Nov 9, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us


Unai Emery had a dream start to life at Aston Villa when they overcame Manchester United 3-1 in the Premier League on Sunday. Just a few days later, the two sides get to meet again – this time though in the EFL Cup third round. Moreover, the Thursday night encounter will happen at Old Trafford, unlike Sunday’s game which took place at Villa Park. Erik ten Hag and Manchester United will be eager to bounce back quickly from Sunday’s setback and what better way to do it than against the same opposition to whom they lost at the weekend. Let us look at what to expect from this fixture on Thursday:

Much-awaited return for Bruno Fernandes

Going into the match at the weekend, Manchester United had to make do without the presence of suspended Bruno Fernandes. The attacking midfielder has been a revelation since joining the Old Trafford outfit in 2020 January and often acts as the bridge between midfield and attack. On Sunday though Man United missed this creativity massively in his absence. Despite having 59% possession, the Red Devils could only manage eight shots in total and just three were on target. This lack of creativity up front should be filled with Fernandes’ return from suspension.

Manchester United vs Aston VillaKey details
DateNovember 10
VenueOld Trafford
Kickoff time in India1:30 am (Friday)
Kickoff time in the United Kingdom8 pm (Thursday)

Will it be Cristiano Ronaldo or Anthony Martial up top?

After finding it difficult to fit into the team’s starting XI during the early stages of the season, Cristiano Ronaldo seems to have become a regular fixture in recent games. However, Ronaldo has failed to regain his magic touch in front of the goal, while United also lacked the dynamism up front. This problem can be sorted out by the returning Anthony Martial. The French forward came on as a substitute during the weekend defeat and could be in line for a start. At the beginning of the season or in pre-season, United look like a decent threat with Martial up top. However, the Red Devils also have an important match at the weekend away to Fulham, hence it will be interesting to see who will play on Thursday.

Read More – Manchester United vs Aston Villa: EFL Cup Live Stream, Form Guide, Head to Head, Schedule, Fixture and Probable Lineups

Aston Villa will aim to steer clear of the relegation places

There were times this season when Aston Villa found themselves in the bottom three places and have often stayed in and around those positions. Even though the quality of players that Villa posses might be enough to help them steer clear of the bottom three spots this season. Still, the last thing Unai Emery would be needing as a manager is constantly being worried about the teams in the bottom three positions. As a result, he would want his team to get some quick points in the league to move away from the dreaded relegation zone. Hence, he could prioritise the league over the EFL Cup, thereby resting some key players on Thursday night.



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