Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Aston Villa vs Man Utd in the Premier League on Saturday Night Football; kick-off 5.30pm.
Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho and Phil Jones could be available for their Premier League fixture against Aston Villa on Saturday.
He said on Friday morning: "I think they will be available. They only trained yesterday for the first time, Cristiano yesterday, Harry I think the day before yesterday. So as a team, we have to wait for the final training session this afternoon, but right now they should be available for tomorrow."
Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay are suspended for the Villa rematch, while Paul Pogba (thigh) remains sidelined. Eric Bailly and Hannibal Mejbri are at the Africa Cup of Nations.
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Aston Villa new signings Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne are in contention to face Manchester United.
Barcelona loanee Coutinho is likely to be on Villa's bench due to a lack of match fitness, while Digne, who has signed from Everton, could replace Matt Targett at left-back.
John McGinn is banned, Marvelous Nakamba and Leon Bailey are injured, Jaden Philogene-Bidace is rested and Trezeguet is on international duty with Egypt.
How to follow
Aston Villa vs Man Utd will be shown live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 5pm; kick-off 5.30pm. Sky Sports customers can watch in-game clips in the live match blog on the Sky Sports website and app. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel shortly after the final whistle.
Last time out...
I had to check the prices three times to make sure there wasn't an error. Yes, Manchester United really are favourites to win this football match.
Purely looking at their results under Ralf Rangnick would make their tag as 6/5 jollies with Sky Bet look respectable. But for those trying to get ahead of the markets where possible, performance levels and key metrics are much more reliable to gauge a team's overall form-line. And it doesn't take an analytical genius to conclude that Manchester United are struggling in almost every department of their game under the new boss. All you need is a pair of eyes.
Quite how Aston Villa were dumped out of the FA Cup at Old Trafford was a bit of a mystery. But revenge looks set to be on the cards at Villa Park. The draw no bet angle at 5/4 on Steven Gerrard's side rates a confident wager.
Of course, at some point such is the talent of the individuals within the United squad, their performance levels are going to rocket and make a prediction of this nature look very stupid. But on what we've seen from this wildly inconsistent and frustrating set of players against the likes of Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley over the past few weeks, they simply have to be taken on.
SCORE PREDICTION: 2-1
BETTING ANGLE: Aston Villa draw no bet (5/4 with Sky Bet)
- Aston Villa are winless in their last 22 home league games against Manchester United (D7 L15) since a 3-1 victory in August 1995. It's the longest winless home run one side has had against another in English Football League history.
- Aston Villa are looking to win consecutive league games against Man Utd for the first time since November 1976, while they last did the league double over the Red Devils in 1954-55.
- Manchester United have scored the opening goal in 33 Premier League games against Aston Villa, winning 32 and drawing one of those matches. It's the most a team has opened the scoring without losing against a side in the competition's history.
- Manchester United have won 299 Premier League away games, and would be the first side to reach 300 in the competition with victory here. No side has won more Premier League games (37) or away games (17) in the competition's history than the Red Devils have against Aston Villa.
- None of Aston Villa's last 16 Premier League games have ended level (W6 L10), with the Villans last having a longer run without a league draw between September 1964 and April 1965 (29 games).
- Dean Smith was manager of Aston Villa for their 1-0 win earlier this season over Man Utd, while Steven Gerrard will take charge of this game. Should the Villans win, they will be the first team to complete a league double over Manchester United with a different manager in charge for each game since Bolton Wanderers in 1950-51 (Walter Rowley and Bill Ridding).
- As a player, Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard ended on the winning side in 10 Premier League games against Man Utd, a joint-record along with Nicolas Anelka, John Terry and Petr Cech. However, including caretakers, only one of the last 18 managers has won their first Premier League match against the Red Devils, with Mikel Arteta winning with Arsenal in January 2020.
Premier League Preview: Will Spurs or Arsenal win north London derby? | Chelsea's last chance at Man City | Bowen's brilliance at West Ham
In the latest Essential Football Podcast, host Alice Piper is joined by Nick Wright, Charlotte Marsh, and Peter Smith to preview this weekend's Premier League action. Plus we hear from Sky Sports pundit Alan Smith ahead of the north London derby.
PART ONE | Alan Smith delivers his north London derby verdict ahead of Arsenal's trip to Tottenham and explains why the midfield battle will be key after the Gunners' tiring battle with 10 men at Liverpool on Thursday.
PART TWO | It's first vs second in the Premier League on Saturday when Manchester City host Chelsea. Is this the London club's last chance to stay in touch with leaders City? And could a win for Thomas Tuchel's side open the door for Liverpool, too? Plus we look ahead to Philippe Coutinho's Aston Villa debut, with Steven Gerrard's men facing an out-of-sorts Man Utd for the second time in a week.
PART THREE | Jarrod Bowen is in fine form and we take a look at the numbers behind his recent purple patch and discuss how it is driving West Ham back into the top-four race after their dip in December. Ahead of their match with Leeds we also examine how injuries have made life tough for Marcelo Bielsa this season. And finally, will Brighton or Crystal Palace come out on top in their rivalry showdown on Friday night?