Aston Villa v United: All you need to know
Manchester United will warm up for the start of our 2020/21 Premier League season when we take on Aston Villa in a friendly match this Saturday.
It’s just over two months since we last made the trip to Villa Park - a journey the Reds have tended to enjoy in the Premier League era - but quite a bit has changed in the West Midlands since we last faced Dean Smith’s side.
With a dramatic end to last season for the home side, plus a few new signings, there’s now a different feel to this Villa outfit - so here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s opponents...
WHEN DID WE LAST PLAY THEM?
As mentioned above, the Reds’ most recent meeting with Villa came in July, when we won 3-0 in the Premier League thanks to goals from Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba. Prior to that, we last played the Villans in December at Old Trafford, in a game that finished 2-2, with Victor Lindelof on the scoresheet for us along with an own goal from former Reds keeper Tom Heaton.
HOW DID THEY GET ON LAST SEASON?
With four games remaining in 2019/20, Villa looked destined for an immediate return to the Championship as they were seven points from safety. However, wins against Crystal Palace and Arsenal and two draws in games with Everton and West Ham ensured the Villans’ dramatic final-day survival. Villa ultimately finished 17th with 35 points, just one more than relegated Bournemouth. Saturday’s opponents also made it to the Carabao Cup final last term, where they were beaten 2-1 by Manchester City.
ANY NEW SIGNINGS?
Dean Smith has added two new recruits to his Villa side in recent weeks, both of whom could be in line to feature at the weekend. Full-back Matty Cash was brought in from Nottingham Forest, and the converted winger will add more attacking impetus to this Villa outfit. The club also broke their transfer record fee this week to sign Ollie Watkins from Brentford. The striker netted 25 league goals for the Bees last term and was voted the Championship’s Player of the Season.
WHY AREN’T VILLA IN LEAGUE ACTION?
The West Midlands outfit were originally scheduled to play Manchester City this weekend in their inaugural 2020/21 Premier League game. However, like United, Pep Guardiola’s men were given extra time off before their first game of the new term, given their extended run in Europe last season.
OUR RECORD AT VILLA PARK
To say that Villa Park has been a happy hunting ground for United is an understatement. Saturday’s opponents haven’t beaten us at home this century - you have to go back to 1995 for the Claret and Blues’ last home league win over the Reds. That’s 23 consecutive Premier League clashes without defeat at the famous, old ground in the Midlands, and we’ve won five of our last six there.
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