Manchester United v Aston Villa: Visiting Villains can pinch goal at Red Devils
Dan Fitch is expecting Aston Villa to continue their scoring streak when they visit Manchester United on Sunday...
Manchester United 1.50 v Aston Villa 8.00; The Draw 4.60 Sunday 1 December, 16:30
Big week for Manchester United
Manchester United host the first of two consecutive games at Old Trafford, with this very much being the starter before the main event.
On Wednesday the former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will return, with his new club Tottenham. That match is guaranteed to be a huge media event and that adds an injection of importance into the game against Aston Villa. United do not need the pressure of going into the match against Spurs, on the back of a disappointing result.
For Manchester United have already failed to win either of their last two games. An extremely uneven performance against Sheffield United saw them walk away with a 3-3 draw, before a midweek 2-1 loss in the Europa League at Astana. The latter result was excusable given the youthful side picked by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but with confidence a fragile commodity at the club, it could still have an effect.
A major contributing factor to the poor showing at Sheffield United was the amount of injuries that Solskjaer has to contend with right now. Diogo Dalot, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba are all out.
Tough month ahead for Villa
Aston Villa restored some confidence on Monday, but there is a danger of it being short-lived.
Their 2-0 home victory over Newcastle ended a run of three straight defeats in the Premier League, against tough opposition. Starting with this match against Manchester United, their next five games all come against teams that are currently in the top half of the Premier League.
With only four points separating Villa from the relegation zone, it will be necessary for Villa to start picking up results in which they are the underdogs, more often than they've managed so far this season. They've made a decent start to life back in the Premier League and look to have the sufficient talent to survive.
Bjorn Engels and Jota are both doubts for the trip with injuries. They could join long-term casualties Keinan Davis and Jed Steer on the sidelines.
United can win but it won't be straightforward
Manchester United are the 1.50favourites. The draw is 4.60, with Aston Villa out at 8.00.
Although United are in decent form overall and should be favoured, that price is much too slim. Aston Villa certainly have the capability to make this a difficult game, despite United's home advantage, especially in midfield where Solskjaer is lacking quality options.
If backing the home side, consider the draw half-time/Manchester United full-time double result at 4.50, or a Manchester United win and both teams to score at 3.20.
Villa will likely score
In terms of that latter bet, the statistics point to Aston Villa being able to find the net in this match.
Villa have scored in nine of their last ten games. During this spell they scored an impressive eleven goals in five away matches.
With Manchester United conceding in six of their last seven games, both teams to score looks like a value bet at 1.86. Over 2.5 goals is available at 1.74 and has landed in all but one of Aston Villa's ten most recent games.
Rashford has rediscovered form in best position
There has been debate regarding Marcus Rashford's best position over the past few season. For now, he certainly looks more effective as a goalscoring wide player than he does as a generally non-scoring striker.
The return of Anthony Martial has seen Rashford move back to the left and the England forward has responded by scoring in each of his last three starts. Rashford is 2.02 to score.