Preview: Manchester United vs. Aston Villa

Preview: Manchester United vs. Aston Villa

Manchester United will round off their pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia with a friendly against fellow Premier League outfit Aston Villa on Saturday.

The Red Devils have beaten Liverpool, Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace in their three pre-season fixtures this summer, while Villa also have a perfect record over the summer, overcoming Walsall, Leeds United and Brisbane Roar in their three fixtures since the end of last season.

Man United continued their impressive run of form in pre-season on Tuesday with a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace; Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were on the scoresheet in Melbourne, with the success following back-to-back wins over Liverpool and Melbourne Victory.

The 20-time English champions will now round off this leg of their pre-season tour with a clash against Villa in Perth before heading back to Europe for friendlies with Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano next weekend.

Erik ten Hag’s side will then begin their 2022-23 Premier League campaign at home to Brighton & Hove Albion on August 7, and it will be fascinating to see how Man United perform next term, as a disappointing 2021-22 season saw them finish down in sixth position and miss out on the Champions League.

Tyrell Malacia has been the club’s only new signing on tour, but Christian Eriksen and Lisandro Martinez have also been confirmed as arrivals this summer, with the duo potentially making their debuts next weekend.

Man United continue to work on a deal for Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, while they are still without Cristiano Ronaldo amid the speculation surrounding his future, but Martial, Rashford and Sancho have all impressed this summer, scoring seven goals between them across the team’s three fixtures.

Villa, meanwhile, opened their preparations for the 2022-23 campaign with a 4-0 victory over Walsall on July 9 before beating Leeds United 1-0 in their second game of the summer on July 17.

Steven Gerrard’s side then secured the Queensland Champions Cup with a 1-0 success over Brisbane Roar on Wednesday night, with Cameron Archer netting the only goal of the contest.

Villa will now take on Man United and Rennes in their final two friendlies of the summer before opening their 2022-23 Premier League season away to newly-promoted Bournemouth on August 6.

Gerrard’s team have been active during this summer’s transfer window, confirming a permanent move for Philippe Coutinho, while they have also brought in Diego Carlos, Robin Olsen, Ludwig Augustinsson and Boubacar Kamara, and Trezeguet and Matt Targett are among those to have left the club.

Villa finished 14th in the Premier League last season, picking up just 45 points from their 38 matches, so they will certainly be looking to improve in the new campaign, with a top-half spot and possible challenge for a European finish likely to be the club’s target.

Manchester United Club Friendlies 1 form:
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Manchester United form (all competitions):
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Aston Villa Club Friendlies 1 form:
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Aston Villa form (all competitions):
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We say: Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa
This will arguably be Man United’s toughest test of the summer, as Palace were missing a number of players for their clash on Tuesday. Both managers will view the fixture as valuable preparation for the new campaign, and we are expecting a tight contest, with Man United potentially running out 2-1 winners.

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