Manchester United vs. Aston Villa
Saturday, April 4th
Old Trafford, Manchester, England
10am Eastern Standard Time / 3pm British Summer Time
NBC Sports Live Extra
Manchester United 3/10, Aston Villa 10/1, Draw 4/1 (Sky Bet)
Scouting Manchester United
Fourth-placed Manchester United will be looking to solidify their position in the Champions League qualification spots as they host Aston Villa at Old Trafford this Saturday. Building on impressive back-to-back wins against top-4 rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, Louis van Gaal’s men will be hoping for a more convincing performance than they delivered in the reverse fixture back in December, when the Red Devils were held to a 1-1 draw by 10-man Villa.
Expect United to keep faith with the 4-4-2 that served them so well at Anfield last Sunday, with Man-of-the-Match Juan Mata keeping his place in the starting XI.
Scouting Aston Villa
With just eight games left, Aston Villa remain a slender three points above the relegation zone: Tim Sherwood will be hoping his Villains can bounce back from a disappointing 1-0 home loss to Swansea last time out.
Villa have won three of their last four fixtures under Sherwood, scoring eight goals in the process. That’s a considerable up-tick compared to the turgid, goal-shy soccer seen under predecessor Paul Lambert. Nevertheless, having won just one of their last 38 Premier League games against United, this fixture will be a struggle for the men in claret and blue.
While United have struggled this season against well-organised defensive units, as they did against Villa back in December, recent form – United have won 12 of their last 14 ties at Old Trafford – and long-term history suggests this should be three points in the bag for the Red Devils.
Expect Sherwood’s emphasis on attacking soccer to play into the hands of van Gaal’s more deliberate, considered style. Perhaps even Radamel Falcao will get in on the goals.