Manchester United vs. Aston Villa – EPL, January 1, 2020

| December 30, 2020 9:41 am PDT

It will not have escaped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that a win against Aston Villa on New Year’s Day will see his Manchester United top of the league. Liverpool doesn’t play until Monday, giving the Red Devils a chance of bragging rights – albeit temporarily.

But Villa will have something to say about that, after an excellent start to the season. Dean Smith’s side is currently fifth and could go up to third by beating United here.

Manchester United vs. Aston Villa Odds

Manchester United to Win-152
The Draw+285
Aston Villa to Win+320

A nine-game unbeaten run certainly justifies BetOnline’s decision to offer Manchester United as odds on favorite to win this one. But Villa is also enjoying a particularly good streak at the moment. This should be a very good game – and I think that the draw bet might hold better value.

Manchester United vs. Aston Villa Match Preview

It seems strange that Manchester United is constantly described in relation to crises and problems when the club sits second in the league and has the chance of overtaking Liverpool at the top with a win here. There does seem to be some work still to be done – especially in the defense – but life could be a lot worse at Old Trafford.

The win over Wolves on Tuesday was probably well deserved in terms of possession and chances, but neither side really looked all that good. Marcus Rashford topped off an excellent year – on and off the pitch – to score the injury-time winner, and he will probably have a big say in how this game goes as well.

Aston Villa has its own talismanic player pulling the strings, of course. It is much more than a one-man show at Villa Park, but Jack Grealish usually contributes to many of the positive aspects of his team’s attacking play. The frustration of Ross Barkley missing out because of injury will probably continue for this game, so Grealish will need to take the main role once again.

But it is Anwar El Ghazi who is scoring most of the goals at the moment. He picked up his fifth in five games to earn a point away at Chelsea on Monday – and could have scored the winner as well. There is a real team spirit at Villa this season – and United could be the latest team to suffer because of that on Monday.

Manchester United vs. Aston Villa Betting Pick

  • The Draw

Bruno Fernandes had an uncharacteristically poor game against Wolves, but I can’t see that happening again so soon. He is a major reason for United’s success this season and should be able to match anything that Villa produces from its own star players. A well-fought draw could be the final outcome.

Dan Roberts

Dan Roberts is an experienced freelance writer specialising in sports and sports betting. He is particularly knowledgeable about world soccer, but also writes about football, basketball and cricket.

As a fan of Nottingham Forest, New York Knicks, Minnesota Vikings and New York Mets, Dan has not had much to celebrate recently.

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