Aston Villa-Manchester United Preview
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer complained about the recent officiating against this team as they prepare to host West Ham on Saturday.
The Red Devils sit joint-top of the table, unbeaten in five games with 13 points after Jesse Lingard and David de Gea's late heroics secured a memorable win against West Ham last time out.
The hosts have also won 18 of their last 21 league games at Old Trafford against Villa but Solskjaer has been disappointed with refereeing decisions going against them in recent weeks.
"We just have to hope we get what we deserve," said Solskjaer. "We should have had three penalties in the last two games. There was a certain manager last year worrying about us getting penalties, and it seems since then that the decisions were more difficult to give. I've seen a big difference since then.
"We just have to leave it up to the refs, and hopefully, they'll make the right calls very soon."
Meanwhile, Villa have endured a mixed start to the new campaign, with two wins and a draw in their first five leaving them in mid-table.
The visitors did, however, crush Everton 3-0 last time out and Dean Smith is relishing the challenge that awaits him at Old Trafford.
"They've just brought in Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho this summer to add to a glittering squad already," Smith said. "It's a massive club with a massive history, and they're going to be pushing to challenge the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea. Our job is to go there and go toe-to-toe with them like we did at Chelsea."
Manchester United – Bruno Fernandes
Fernandes has scored in all three of his Premier League games against Aston Villa, with all three of his goals coming from the penalty spot.
Aston Villa – Matthew Cash
Cash grabbed his first goal in the Premier League in his 33rd appearance against Everton last Saturday. While he may not be expecting another on Saturday, his defensive work will also be crucial – currently leading club charts for duels won (32), recoveries (26) and tackles (13).
- Since the start of February (when he joined West Ham on loan), only Kelechi Iheanacho (12) has scored more Premier League goals than Jesse Lingard (11). Lingard is looking to score in three consecutive league games for Man Utd for the first time.
- Man Utd's Cristiano Ronaldo has the shortest average shot distance from goal of the 23 players to have had at least 10 open play shots in the Premier League this season (12.6 metres – excluding headers).
- No side has had more direct attacks in the Premier League this season than Aston Villa (15). A direct attack is one that starts just inside a team's own half, with at least 50% of movement towards the opposition goal that ends in a shot or touch in the opposition box.
- In Premier League history, no side has won more games against an opponent than Manchester United's 37 victories against Aston Villa.
- Since a goalless draw with Manchester City last December, Manchester United have scored in each of their last 15 Premier League home games (44 goals in total). However, the Red Devils have also conceded in each of their last seven league games at Old Trafford, last having a longer top-flight home run without a clean sheet in February 1972 (8 games).
Updated September 24, 2021