Man Utd vs Aston Villa – Premier League preview and team news

Manchester United will be expecting to return to winning ways in the Premier League by beating an Aston Villa side whose impending relegation could be confirmed before this match even kicks off.

After arriving late and initially holding their own last weekend at Tottenham, the hosts will have been alarmed at the manner in which they just fell apart after going a goal behind, going on to concede three in the space of seven minutes to the title chasers.

It was a game which saw manager Louis van Gaal adopt some strange tactics, including the idea of deploying Ashley Young as the furthest player forward after he came on at half-time, but their only real chance fell to Anthony Martial, whose shot was kept out.

However, the Red Devils responded perfectly on Wednesday by securing a place in the semi-finals of the FA Cup thanks to a very good display at West Ham United. It was an incisive showing that could have yielded more than just the two goals, the first of which was curled in beautifully by Marcus Rashford, the youngster who keeps on impressing.

Now the attention returns to trying to earn a place in next season’s Champions League and there is no margin for error between now and the end of the season. They are unlikely to encounter too many problems here, but the gap to rivals Manchester City needs to be cut sooner rather than later.

Aston Villa have been a part of every single Premier League season to date, but after flirting with the drop for the past three seasons it appears that Saturday will see them fall into the second tier. It is a sad time for the club and while the supporters are hurting, they just want to be put out of their misery.

The anger and frustration reached new heights in the defeat to Bournemouth a week ago as the banners increased in number and the players came in for yet worse treatment. Leandro Bacuna in particular is paying the price for his fanciful and ill-judged remarks about wanting to play Champions League football.

There is little pride left to salvage, but the least Villa can do is make it difficult for United here and be well-organised. Whether or not their fate has been sealed by the result between Norwich City and Sunderland, the players surely must not surrender again.

Captain Wayne Rooney could make his first league appearance for United since February after coming on as a late substitute at West Ham, but Ander Herrera is out with a foot problem.

Alan Hutton returns from a one-match ban for Villa, who will leave out Gabriel Agbonlahor due to his lack of match fitness.

Last Meeting: Two goals for Ander Herrera helped see Man Utd to a comfortable victory in April 2015, with the Spaniard netting two minutes before the break to open the scoring before rounding things off in stoppage time. In between, Wayne Rooney turned to fire in, while Christian Benteke netted for Villa.

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