10 July 2020
Out-of-sorts Aston Villa welcome in-form Manchester United to Villa Park, hoping to bring a 14-game winless run in the Premier League H2Hs to a halt (D4, L10).
Winless in nine Premier League fixtures (D2, L7), the visitors enter the round sitting one point adrift of 17th-placed Watford. A lack of goals in accountable to Aston Villa’s poor form, as the Lions drew a blank in five of the abovementioned nine games, scoring precisely once per match in three of the other four. Still, Aston Villa’s main problem remains a leaky backline that laments the division’s worst defensive record after shipping 62 goals on an average of 1.87 goals conceded per Premier League match. In fact, Dean Smith’s men have allowed over 1.5 goals in half (eight) of their 16 league home games this term, with a slight majority (51.85%) of the 27 home goals they’ve shipped coming before the break (14).
Meanwhile, the visitors have stretched their unbeaten run in all competitions to 16 with a 5-2 dismantling of Bournemouth on home turf last time out (W11, D5), as they take the field trailing fourth-placed Chelsea by just two points. If the Red Devils win here, as they did in 12 of their 17 top-flight trips to Aston Villa since the turn of the new millennium (D5), they are likely to score at least twice. Indeed, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have netted over 1.5 goals in each of their last 12 Premier League wins. The ‘clean-sheet’ three will be equally significant, though, as nine of United’s 11 Premier League away results (win/loss) this season have seen the winner on the day shut out the losing side (W5, L6).
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