Date: Sunday 11th February, 2024
Time: 5:30 pm
Stadium Villa Park
Referee Robert Jones (England)
Unai Emery has greeted a mixed bag of updates on the team news front ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Manchester United on Sunday, the Aston Villa manager will be bereft of the services of four first-team players.
But the good news is Pau Torres is ready to return to action after recovering from an ankle injury. In addition, Lucas Digne is in contention to feature after shrugging off a hamstring issue. But Ezri Konsa is unavailable after spraining his knee last week.
Konsa has joined Tyrone Mings (knee), Emiliano Buendia (knee), and Jhon Duran (knock) in the treatment room. Meanwhile, Aston Villa will line up in a 4-4-2 formation against Manchester United, with Emiliano Martinez taking his spot between the sticks.
Torres should replace Konsa in the starting eleven, pairing up with Clement Lenglet at the heart of the defence. Alex Moreno and Matty Cash will likely start as the two full-backs, with the duo looking to wreak havoc in the final third.
As for the midfield unit, Douglas Luiz and Boubacar Kamara will aim to shore up things in the middle of the park. John McGinn and Leon Bailey will complete the numbers in the department, with the duo charging forward at every opportunity. Speaking of the offensive duo, Ollie Watkins and Moussa Diaby will be the two strikers for the home side.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Martinez; Cash, Torres, Lenglet, Moreno; Bailey, Luiz, Kamara, McGinn; Diaby, Diaby, Watkins
Like his counterpart in the Aston Villa dugout, Erik ten Hag has a new concern hampering his preparations ahead of the trip to Villa Park. The Manchester United manager will be without five first-team players on Sunday.
Lisandro Martinez is the latest absentee, with the Argentine international picking up a knee injury last weekend against West Ham United. The 2022 FIFA World Cup winner has joined Tyrell Malacia (knee), Aaron Wan-Bissaka (knock), Mason Mount (calf), and Anthony Martial (groin) on the sidelines.
Andre Onana will take his usual spot between the sticks, with Manchester United lining up in a 4-2-3-1 formation in front of him against Aston Villa. The backline should see one change, with Raphael Varane replacing Martinez as Harry Maguire’s central defensive partner. Diogo Dalot and Luke Shaw will be the two full-backs.
As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Kobbie Mainoo and Casemiro, with the latter rediscovering his form alongside the upstart. Bruno Fernandes will reprise his usual no. 10 role, with Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford being the two wide attackers. Finally, Rasmus Hojlund will lead the line for the away side.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Onana; Dalot, Maguire, Varane, Shaw; Mainoo, Casemiro; Garnacho, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford; Hojlund
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester United
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