After the dubious officiating and dodgy VAR decisions in Villa’s FA Cup defeat at Old Trafford last time out, Gerrard has the opportunity to seek immediate retribution.
Whilst going out of the cup was annoying, especially in the manner inflicted, we must put this behind us and instead channel our grievances into defeating this United team in the Premier League instead.
Though Villa were much improved and competitive in the 3rd Round tie, there were still glaring issues inherited by Gerrard that need addressing. The former Rangers manager knows his side need to be more clinical up-front, stop gifting the opposition goals and cut out the unforced errors in midfield.
For this blog at least, this is a matter of consistency amongst those players already in the squad who we might consider ‘elite’ footballers and those who we might consider to have the potential, to show it. The upturn in performance and more importantly results since Gerrard arrived has changed the whole atmosphere at Villa Park, but there’s no getting away from the fact that defeat today would be a fourth consecutive loss.
There are many positives to consider, not least that Villa appear to have refound their competitive edge, and we are buoyed by the signings of Coutinho / Digne. Further, this is far from a vintage Manchester United side.
This match is perfectly primed to be a great game under the lights at Villa Park, with a baying home support and bitter mid-winter temperatures; we have to hope that Villa deliver.
KEY MATCH FACTS
- Ronaldo, Maguire, Sancho and Jones are expected back for Utd.
- Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay won’t feature through suspension.
- Pogba is injured and Bailly is at the AFCON for the visitors.
- Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne are both available for AVFC.
- John McGinn is suspended after accumulating 5 yellow cards.
- Marvelous Nakamba and Leon Bailey are still out injured.
- Trezeguet and Traore are both away at AFCON.
- Villa are winless in 22 home games against United.
- Villa last did the league double over Man Utd in 1954/1955.
- Kick Off: 17:30pm [GMT]
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