Football Tips: Menacing Man Utd to keep up red-hot form against struggling Aston Villa

Manchester United are back... for now at least.

Dean Smith Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

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Manchester United’s fall from grace since the Sir Alex Ferguson years has been well documented in the press and long debated among the fans. They went from an institution that played attacking football the United way, bombarding the opposition right up to the final whistle, to a slow, ponderous and safe side under Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.

Even since Fergie departed, the club has managed to win trophies. LVG scraped over the line against Crystal Palace in that famous Alan Pardew dance final and Mourinho had initially brought some of the good times back in his first season. The crowds sang the verse ‘Woke up this morning feeling fine, got Man Utd on my mind, Jose’s playing the way that United should’.

How short-lived that period was. Trophies are important for a club of United’s stature, but the way in which they are won is the critical requirement of any manager in the job. Had David Moyes avoided lumping the ball to big Marouane Fellaini he might have seen out a good portion of that mega-deal after moving from Everton.

It’s been doom and gloom for some time for Man Utd fans, but could it be that the boom is finally back? United had been on an impressive unbeaten streak, an it seems the break has not knocked them off their stride at all and been timed well in terms of Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford’s returns from injury.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

The front five have been absolutely devastating to watch, pulling off slick one-touch passing and clever off-the-ball movement. They’re going to a handful for any side if they keep improving.

Anthony Martial scored the first Red Devils hat-trick in any competition for seven years when he bagged a treble against Sheffield United. The last player to do that in a United shirt was Robin van Persie against Aston Villa in the game which saw them win their last title.

They now visit Villa Park on Thursday evening aiming to secure another three points in the closely contested battle for 4th. Oh, how times change! Chelsea have a five-point cushion but have played a game more, so it really is a must-win game for United.

Thursday’s hosts are in their own predicament. They just can’t win by hook or crook, with their last Premier League triumph coming 10 games ago against fellow strugglers Watford.

DeanSmithAstonVillaJul19

What makes it worse for Dean Smith’s outfit is that they have lost every game they’ve played at home against the current top six, suffering hammerings against Leicester and Manchester City along the way. However, they did secure a rare away point against the visitors earlier in the season which will give some hope.

But, I really do fear for them this time. In a game where they will need to be tight and organised defensively, I can see them being anything but. They have conceded a whopping 62 goals which puts them just one off the division’s worst defence.

In the last eight games they are second bottom of the form table and it doesn’t make for positive reading when you see that they have only collected 18 points at home all season. Maybe it’s the fact that over £100m was spent in the summer on players who really haven’t gelled.

They’re a team so reliant on Jack Grealish for any creative spark, and when it really comes down to it they just can’t defend.

Man Utd come into this in red-hot form, scoring three or more goals in the last three and they looked dominant against Spurs on their return. Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Martial, Mason Greenwood and Pogba have looked scintillating, while Nemanja Matic has provided discipline and structure in defensive transitions.

I just cant see how Aston Villa, who are going to be pushing for a much need win, will be able to keep that attack at bay for 90 minutes. With all of this in mind let’s take a look at a few bets.

Man Utd to win and Under 3.5 goals

Victor Lindelof limped off against Bournemouth and his deputy Eric Bailly did not look assured and even gave away a horrendous penalty. There may be leaks for Villa to exploit at times but it definitely suits United to play on the counter-attack I can see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer setting up to let Villa come on to them and then to hit them on the break.

Due to Villa’s current situation, I feel that this one could take a little longer to get going than normal.

The price of Man Utd to win and Under 3.5 goals appeals, this clicked in two of the last three games.

Draw half time and Man Utd full time

I think this could be a tight game in the first half, due to the hosts not wanting to go behind early. The price of Draw half time and Man Utd full time for the Reds to show their class late in day looks serious value.

Mason Greenwood to score first

Greenwood has scored 8 league goals from an XG figure of just 2.71. He can use both feet to finish and is in fantastic form, scoring a brace at the weekend. Him being the outsider among the forward line to score first at the moment is something worth looking at for sure.

Tips for Aston Villa vs Manchester United

Man Utd to win and Under 3.5 goals
Draw half time and Man Utd full time
Mason Greenwood to score first

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