Saturday, December 3, 2022

Aston Villa vs Manchester United Tactical Preview: Team News, Predicted Lineups, Key Men And Odds

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

Manchester United will face off against Aston Villa at Villa Park on Thursday evening hoping to maintain their excellent form in the Premier League. The Red Devils managed to secure an emphatic 5-2 victory over Bournemouth last weekend, which would keep them in good spirits heading into this midweek encounter versus the Villans. However, the West Midlands outfit will not give up without a proper fight as they are currently battling for their right to stay in the English top-flight for at least another season.

Talking Tactics

Dean Smith could switch between a 4-3-3 formation and a 4-5-1 set-up with both Jack Grealish and Ahmed Elmohamady working hard on stretching the pitch out on the wide areas. The Villans will try to sit back and soak in all the pressure before attempting to expose the away team’s weaknesses on the break.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will once again opt for a 4-2-3-1 formation and might be inclined to keep changes to a minimum for this clash at the West Midlands. Man United will be expected to dominate the ball and could look to unlock the Villa defence using the creativity of Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes.

Team News

Aston Villa

This league match might come too soon for Villa’s Björn Engels, who is still nursing his way back from injury. Matt Targett is also unavailable in midweek, which means that Neil Taylor will continue at left-back.

Aston Villa Predicted XI

Reina, Konsa, Hause, Mings, Taylor, McGinn, Luiz, Nakamba, Elmohamady, Grealish, Davis

Manchester United vs Aston Villa Tactical Preview (Aston Villa's Jack Grealish seen in the photo)
Jack Grealish of Aston Villa prepares to take a free kick during the Carabao Cup Final between Aston Villa and Manchester City at Wembley Stadium on March 01, 2020, in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Manchester United

Victor Lindelof is a slight doubt for this game. Otherwise, Solskjaer has no fresh injury concerns to worry about ahead of this midweek contest.

Manchester United Predicted XI

De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Pogba, Matic, Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford, Martial

Key Men

Aston Villa

Jack Grealish will be Smith’s best hope for a goal at Villa Park later this week. He will carry most of the creative burden down the left flank. However, the collective performance of Marvelous Nakamba, Douglas Luiz and John McGinn in midfield could very well end up determining the fate of this contest.

Manchester United

Mason Greenwood is in red hot form for the Red Devils at the moment. We can expect the youngster to share the goal-scoring workload with Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford in the final third. However, Bruno Fernandes will once again be Solskjaer’s main man in the opposition half. If the Portuguese international can perform at a high level on the pitch, then Man United will have a great chance of securing maximum points on Thursday.


The bookmakers have made Man United the clear favourites to emerge victorious at Villa Park after they were priced at 1/3. The draw has been listed as 17/4 while the Villans are 15/2 underdogs to pull off an upset on Thursday.

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