Manchester United’s last match was not a good one. The 3-1 loss against Aston Villa away from home made everyone see this Erik Ten Hag team is still far from remaining as consistent as many would want them to be. It was a poor performance overall, which had also shown some more negative aspects of having Cristiano Ronaldo start up front and captaining the team. But the good thing, even though it does not happen often, is that United will have their chance for a rematch right away in the following match. The Red Devils will this time host Aston Villa in a League Cup fourth round match at Old Trafford. Here is everything you need to know.
It will be interesting to see what kind of team Ten Hag will put out on Thursday night. Brandon Williams, Raphael Varane and Axel Tuanzebe remain on the sidelines, while a couple of players need assessing. Jadon Sancho and Antony are the two doubts, with their illness and knock problems. Contrary to what many thought when Diogo Dalot picked up his fifth yellow card in the Premier League, his suspension is not transferable to League Cup, so he could play on Thursday. Ten Hag might rotate for this match, with Martin Dubravka possibly getting the chance to make his Man United debut, while among the players hoping to start are also Tyrell Malacia and Scott McTominay.
As for Unai Emery’s team, they will be without Leander Dendoncker and Jan Bednarek. Considering they featured this season in the League Cup for Wolves and Southampton respectively, they cannot play in this competition this season. Philippe Coutinho and Diego Carlos are both injured as well, so they will not be coming to Old Trafford.
Manchester United were on a great run of results until they met against Villa last weekend. A nine-match unbeaten streak was exactly what Erik ten Hag needed at this stage of the campaign, to show everyone how much better this team can be, but the performance at Villa Park on Sunday was really poor from the Red Devils. It was United’s first loss since the Manchester Derby debacle and the game that comes just four days later against the same opponent should be a good chance to get back on track. This is especially the case with the match being played in League Cup, a competition United could actually win this season, unlike Premier League.
Aston Villa’s win last weekend was their second consecutive win at home, but it is away from Villa Park that they struggle. In fact, their last away win came in League Cup, against Bolton Wanderers, on 23 August. Since then, they drew twice and lost on three occasions. Expecting Emery’s team to repeat the Sunday performance does not seem realistic, but nevertheless, United must remain wary even more than before, whether Ten Hag changes the lineup drastically or not.
Last time out, we predicted a 2-0 win for the Red Devils. This time, a win must be expected, considering this is a cup match where there are no new chances, and also two losses in the span of four days should not happen to a side like this one. That is why we predict Manchester United will beat Aston Villa 2-1.