Football tips: Goals at a premium in this Villa v Man Utd 25/1 Bet Builder

Our tipster Andrew Beasley isn't expecting a thriller at the Villa.

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When Aston Villa host Manchester United they aren’t just facing the 11 men in front of them but the unbearable weight of history. United are unbeaten in their last 22 league visits to Villa Park, winning 15, and their last 22 in all competitions, with 17 victories.

And though the Villans won at Old Trafford in September, they haven’t won two league games in a row against the Red Devils since 1976, two in the same season since 1954/55 and they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Ralf Rangnick’s side on Monday night.

Aston Villa v Manchester United – Saturday, January 15: 5.30pm
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But Steven Gerrard’s team had two goals disallowed, hit the woodwork and squandered several other presentable openings in that most recent meeting.

It obviously impressed Paddy, as the odds for this match have tipped slightly towards Villa since the cup game, albeit United are still favourites.

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Manchester United to win

The underlying stats from the season suggest the visitors should be a shorter price than they are. It’s not that United have been particularly strong on the road – they haven’t – but Villa’s home efforts have left plenty to be desired.

Things have picked up a touch, stats-wise, since Gerrard was appointed, but the fact remains Villa have lost all four of their home games against teams who go into the weekend in the top eight, plus they lost five at home against the leading octet last season too.

And while they have had some tough matches lately, Villa have lost four of their last five games with their only success in that run coming against bottom side Norwich City.

Rangnick has quite a few injury issues to deal with but United should be able to field Edinson Cavani, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo which is a trio which can prove too strong for Villa and lead the away side to a victory.

Under 2.5 goals

It would appear the main achievement made by United’s latest interim manager has been to make most of the squad despise him in record quick time. Kudos, Ralf!

But he has also made them difficult to beat, which was certainly not the case at the end of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign. People who have been grumbling about the lack of goals at the Africa Cup of Nations should try watching Rangnick’s United.

Disregard the 3-1 win over Burnley for the sake of argument and there have been just eight goals in the other six matches, and not more than two in any of them.

Only Wolves have had more Premier League away matches pay out on under 2.5 goals since the start of the 2019/20 season, and the Red Devils should add another to their collection here.

StevenGerrardRangersAug21

Over 12.5 corners

What do you get if you cross Fernandes, Ronaldo and Philippe Coutinho? A strange-looking man who speaks Portuguese and takes a hell of a lot of shots.

I’ll stick to maths rather than comedy from now on, but the point here is that this match could feature three players who love taking shots from all manner of improbable and unlikely (and often unsuccessful) angles, and that leads to a lot of corners.

United are joint-second in the top flight for total corners per game, while they and Villa are third and fourth respectively for the number of corners conceded.

And that’s before Coutinho begins an inevitable frenzy of long-range shooting in the old claret and blue. There should easily be at least 13 corners here.

Over 3.5 cards

All six meetings of these sides since Villa re-joined the Premier League in 2019 have seen at least four yellow cards, and Ollie Watkins was sent off in this fixture last season.

While United’s matches haven’t generally been that card heavy in 2021/22, they are joint-third in the division for bookings received on the road.

They’re tied with Villa, as it goes, but more pertinent here is the Villans being joint-third for total yellows per game.

With referee David Coote happy to flash a bit of yellow more often than your average top-flight ref, this match should feature over 3.5 cards.

Aston Villa v Manchester United Bet Builder tips

Manchester United to win
Under 2.5 goals
Over 12.5 corners
Over 3.5 cards

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