Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Aston Villa welcome Manchester United to Birmingham on Thursday evening for what could be a crucial game in the Villans’ push to avoid relegation from the Premier League. United have been in excellent form recently, and look a good bet to reach the top four in the table by the time the season ends. Villa have not managed to win since football resumed action in June, and Dean Smith’s team are desperate for three points. Read on to see whether we think that they can collect those points later this week.
Aston Villa have not won since football resumed action last month. In their five games since the Premier League resumption, Villa have picked up just two points – from a 0-0 draw at home to Sheffield United and a 1-1 draw away at Newcastle United. They have lost their other three games and are now third from bottom of the Premier League table. Hope is far from lost, though, with Watford in 17th place just a point ahead of them and West Ham United in 16th four points ahead. But Villa desperately need three points this week to keep their hopes of survival intact.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must be very pleased with the way that his team have played since football resumed action in June. After resuming with a 1-1 draw at Spurs, the Red Devils have won four games in a row in all competitions, and three in a row in the Premier League. Villa will need to take precautions against the power of United’s attacking line-up. The Red Devils blasted five goals against Bournemouth at the weekend. Their top Premier League goalscorers are Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, who both have 15 goals, and youngster Mason Greenwood, who has eight.
In total, there have been 49 Premier League games between these sides, and United have a clear advantage in those games. United have beaten Villa 34 times in the Premier League, with 15 of those victories coming at Villa Park. Villa have beaten United just three times in the Premier League, with two of those wins being at home. There have been 12 draws. One of those draws came earlier this season when the teams met at Old Trafford. That game ended 2-2. Jack Grealish opened the scoring for Villa, before an own goal from Tom Heaton and a 64th minute Victor Lindelof strike put the Red Devils into the lead. Tyrone Mings levelled matters up in the 66th minute.
Grealish could be a man to watch on Thursday – he has six Premier League assists to his name this season, more than any other player in the two squads, and has scored seven goals. He is 7/2 with Boyle Sports to score at any time on Thursday evening. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are United’s top league scorers, and both have 15 Premier League goals to their names in 2019/20. Both are priced at 10/3 by Boyle Sports to be United’s first goalscorer on Thursday evening.
Villa have not beaten United since December 2009, when they won 1-0 at Old Trafford in the Premier League. Since that game, the Villans have faced United 15 times in all competitions without winning. The closest they have come to victory is four draws, all of which have come in the Premier League. If you think that Thursday’s game will end in a draw then Boyle Sports have odds of 8/1 on the 1X2 market on that happening. One of those draws was earlier this season, of course.
United have been in great goal scoring form since the resumption of the Premier League in June. In their four Premier League games since then, they have scored 12 goals and conceded just two. They have also beaten Norwich City 2-1 in the FA Cup during that run.
We suspect that Manchester United will win this game in pretty comfortable fashion. As they have shown in recent matches, the Red Devils have some awesome attacking power at their disposal, and they have been scoring plenty of goals since football resumed action in June. We do think that Villa will manage to score at least one goal, however. So our recommended tip, which comes courtesy of Boyle Sports, is to back United to win and both teams to score. You can get odds of 19/10 on this outcome, which is a better price than on most of the markets that predict a United win.