Anthony Martial in action against Aston Villa at Villa Park

Villa game is perfect for United's preparation

What better place to prepare for the 2020/21 season than at Villa Park, scene of so many enjoyable Manchester United games?

With Aston Villa's Premier League start delayed, like ours, as they were due to face Manchester City, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is taking his side down to the Midlands for our only pre-season fixture due to the quick turnaround this year.

The Reds' long run in the Europa League has necessitated an extra week before kicking off in the league but the latter stages of that tournament, in some respects, was almost like a more common summer tour. The games came thick and fast overseas and it might compensate in a small way for the lack of the usual preparation.

All eyes will be on whether Donny van de Beek will make his first appearance in a United shirt, following his move from Ajax.

Ole is expected to bring us up to date with the team news ahead of the match when we speak to him on Friday, on the eve of the friendly - which is being shown in full on MUTV from 22:00 BST on Saturday night.

There will be an opportunity to check out the shape and formation the boss uses in readiness for the Old Trafford encounter with Crystal Palace on Saturday 19 September.

We drew 2-2 with Villa at home last season before an excellent post-lockdown performance at Villa Park secured a 3-0 victory.

Villans manager Dean Smith could hand a start to his major summer signing, from his former club Brentford, striker Ollie Watkins.

SIGN UP FOR SATURDAY'S GAME

In a pre-season special offer, 
subscribe to MUTV today and get 12 months’ access for the price of six. That’s less than 50p a week for a year’s brilliant coverage of the world’s greatest football club and includes the chance to watch our only pre-season fixture, Aston Villa away, in full at 22:00 BST this Saturday, 12 September!

Simply use the code MUTV12FOR6 when you check out at www.mutv.manutd.com. It’s a limited-time offer, so get it while you can!

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