Manchester United vs Aston Villa Preview: How to watch, kick off time, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Image courtesy of Clive Brunskill / Getty Images

Manchester United return to Premier League action on Saturday afternoon as they welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford.

After picking up 13 points out of a possible 15 so far this season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are in a great position, but Saturday's game could be a real teller of whether they can be considered as serious challengers this season.

Dean Smith has put together a strong side during his tenure at Villa, bringing in the likes of Leon Bailey, Danny Ings and Emiliano Buendia amidst the loss of former club-captain Jack Grealish.

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Many would argue that this is the strongest squad that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side will have faced so far this campaign, so a positive result would not only continue the club's fine momentum in the league, but would plant fear in the minds of rival clubs also.

Villa are in good form themselves after comfortably disposing of Everton 3-0 last weekend, so the visitors will fancy their chances against a United side that has has displayed several weaknesses despite picking up good results.

  • Team News

After missing several first team players so far this season, United's squad is getting back in to a state from which virtually every player is available.

The likes of Dean Henderson, Scott McTominay, and Alex Telles – whose starts to the season were hindered by injuries – have all returned to first team action within the past week.

The only notable absentees left are Amad and Marcus Rashford, with the United faithful still yet to see the latter enter the fray after undergoing hip surgery during the back end of July.

Doubts still loom over Edinson Cavani's fitness after he picked up a small knock before the game against Young Boys, but there is still a chance that he could be in the squad come Saturday afternoon.

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As for Villa, they will be without Axel Tuanzebe due to the on-loan player not being eligible to play against his parent club.

Trezequet remains on the sidelines and Morgan Sanson will definitely not feature after picking up a hamstring injury midweek, whilst there are doubts surrounding Bailey due to a quad issue.

John McGinn should be fit to return after taking a knock to the head against Everton last Saturday.

  • Predicted Lineups:

Manchester United: De gea, Shaw, Maguire, Varane, Wan-Bissaka, Fred, McTominay, Fernandes, Pogba, Greenwood, Ronaldo

Aston Villa: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Hause, Targett, McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey, Ings, Watkins

  • One to watch

Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to start Saturday's encounter at Old Trafford after his lightning-quick start during his second spell in a United shirt.

Many doubted the Portuguese's ability to continue to score goals due to being 36 years old – but he has already shown the world that he has no intentions of slowing down.

Ronaldo has scored found the back of the net four times in his first three games back for The Red Devils, despite only playing 60 minutes in the Champions League group opener.

It is not just the goals that have impressed spectators, however.

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The 36-year-old's movement is clear to see, curving his runs in anticipation for a ball being delivered early or for a backline/goalkeeper to make a mistake.

His leadership is already rubbing off on the players and it comes as no surprise that the only loss United have endured so far this season came when Ronaldo wasn't in the match-day squad.

Furthermore, it wouldn't be a shock if Ronaldo was to open the scoring against Aston Villa on Saturday – this is something United's number seven has done across his past three appearances.

There are many stars in this current United squad, but it is hard to see past everybody's eyes being on the Portuguese come kick-off on Saturday.

  • Head to head

United and Villa have played each other a total of 190 times across all competitions, with Saturday's hosts being victorious on 101 of those occasions. Villa have won 49 of those matches, whilst 40 games have ended in a draw.

The last time Saturday's visitors defeated United at Old Trafford was back in December 2009 thanks to a first-half strike from Gabby Agbonlahor.

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Since then, however, United have drawn against The Villains only once at Old Trafford, winning the remainder of the clashes.

  • Prediction:

Manchester United 2 - 1 Aston Villa

How to watch:

The 12:30 BST game will not be broadcast live on British television, but match highlights can be seen via Match of the Day at 22:30 BST.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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