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Man Utd have emerged as Liverpool’s closest challengers approaching the half-way stage, though they remain just four points ahead of eighth-placed Man City, who hold a game in hand.
Still, while talk of a title tilt remains somewhat fanciful, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are enjoying a run of eight wins from 10 unbeaten domestic matches since early November, with the exceptions in tough encounters versus Man City and Leicester.
Following a winless run of six games at Old Trafford, United appear to have gotten over their poor home form with three victories from four unbeaten outings.
However, they’ll need to be on their toes as their visitors have been highly impressive this season and can’t be underestimated, arriving in good form themselves.
Villa have won three of five unbeaten matches now, conceding just the solitary goal across these as Wolves, Burnley, West Brom and Crystal Palace all failed to land a telling blow.
However, they weren’t able to shut out Chelsea last time out at Stamford Bridge and the quality Man Utd possess at the sharp end should ensure there’s no clean sheet here either.
Man United To Win And Both Teams To Score
United’s home games haven’t produced goals galore like their away days, but on current form we’d expect them to continue firing.
These two played out a 2-2 draw in this fixture last season and Villa certainly shouldn’t be discounted from getting something as they’d be third in a table based upon away results alone this term.
They’re W5-D1-L1 on the road as they haven’t yet failed to score, and in fact they’ve drawn a blank just twice in 18 appearances home or away.
Despite Villa’s good form, they’re largely enjoyed a kind run of late and we’d back the hosts to come out on top.
Solskjaer has greater depth at his disposal and can bring the likes of Luke Shaw, Fred, Scott McTominay and Anthony Martial back into his team if he shuffles his pack. Dean Smith’s side will remain largely unchanged, with Tyrone Mings back from suspension and Ross Barkley after injury, but his side could struggle a bit physically without the same ability to make changes.
Villa have just had five games in just over two weeks with only minor rotation, so Man Utd can afford to play at a higher tempo.
Edinson Cavani Last Goalscorer
Edinson Cavani appears to be winning the battle for a starting spot in Man Utd’s attack, but Solskjaer has handled the 33-year-old carefully and he’s unlikely to make consecutive starts in quick succession.
However, he’s proven highly effective from the bench, with three of his four goals in all competitions for the club coming as a substitute.
Leicester are the only side to score more goals in the final 15 minutes of matches this season, and with Cavani’s efforts registered in the 74th, 88th, 92nd and 95th minutes, looks worth a stab as last goalscorer against tiring legs.