Man United look to continue their dominance of Aston Villa
Reds host Lions on Sunday at Villa Park
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Nearing the record
Manchester United will hope to keep their impressive unbeaten run on the road intact as they travel to Villa Park to face Aston Villa on Sunday.
Having just advanced to the Europa League final on Thursday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are looking to continue their dominance in league play away from Old Trafford.
United are unbeaten in their last 24 matches on the road, and just five results shy of the all-time mark set by Arsenal.
Anthony Martial and Phil Jones are both out again with knee injuries.
Marcus Rashford missed their semi-final loss to Roma in mid-week with a foot injury.
If he can’t go, Sunday, expect to see Edinson Cavani earn another start.
El Matador scored four goals in both legs of their semi-final against the Italians.
David de Gea started in Rome earlier this week, so expect to see Dean Henderson in goal on Sunday.
Aston Villa skipper Jack Grealish will miss this one due to injury.
Morgan Sanson has a knee injury, and Trezeguet is out after damaging his ACL last month.
Aston Villa have not fared well against the elite teams of the Premier League, particularly Man United.
The Villains have just one win in their last 44 EPL matches against the Reds.
They are winless in their last 16 fixtures against them since winning 1-0 at Old Trafford in December 2009.
A walk in the Villa Park
Playing at Villa Park lately for Man United has been more like a walk in the park as they have had a relatively easy time against the Lions.
United are unbeaten in their last 21 EPL matches at Villa Park.
Their last loss on Villa’s home ground came on the opening day of the 1995-96 campaign when the Lions beat them 3-1.
This 21-game run is the longest unbeaten away streak one side has had against another in English League history.
In all competitions, the Red Devils haven’t lost in their last 21 games versus Villa.
Cleaning up their game
One area Dean Smith’s side have improved on in this current campaign is their defensive work.
Villa’s 14 clean sheets in 2020-21 are the most in a single Premier League campaign for this side since 2009-10 when they had 15.
Their play defensively, however, has not been great over the past seven games.
They have conceded at least once in each of those encounters.
No current Premier League side has gone longer without a shutout.
Starting a streak
A win for Aston Villa on Sunday would produce something this team has not done at all this year, win two in a row.
The last time they were able to do that was in December 2020.
Unfortunately, they haven’t beaten a team in the top two in the Premier League since March 2014.
Getting hot at the wrong time
You wouldn’t know it when you look at the standings, but Man United have had an impressive string of Premier League results lately.
The Reds have lost only once in their last 24 EPL encounters.
The problem is too many of those results have been draws, whereas their rivals Manchester City have usually come away with three points.
By the time this match on Sunday happens, we may already know this seasons EPL champions.
Since losing 2-1 to Sheffield United at Old Trafford, the Red Devils have won seven Premier League matches and drawn six.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says his side cannot underestimate Villa despite them missing Jack Grealish.
“I think they’re a very good team; you saw them last week beat Everton. They’ve had a very good season, they had a little spell with some worse results, but we played them in a pre-season friendly before this season and lost. We won a hard-fought game 2-1 at Old Trafford, we know it’s going to be tough, but we’re looking forward to it. You know the energy that we used tonight will probably be filled up twice because of getting to a final. I think we’ll recover, refuel. We’re looking forward to this game; the players are looking forward to it; they know it’s a big game for us.”
Sunday’s match from Villa Park begins at 2:05 pm. (JSL)