Two familiar opponents lock horns once again at Villa Park this evening, just five days after their FA Cup showdown.
Manchester United booked a fourth-round date with Middlesbrough with a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford on Monday evening, with Scott McTominay netting a crucial early header.
However, that certainly did not tell the full story, with Steven Gerrard’s Villa much the better side throughout and having two goals ruled out as they created numerous chances.
Despite the win, United’s performance did preciously little to quell ongoing concerns over their current disjointed squad and the lack of progress shown under Ralf Rangnick.
Aston Villa could hand debuts to new signings Lucas Digne and Philippe Coutinho as they try to halt a run of three successive losses and pull off a first league double over tonight’s opponents since 1954-55.
The September meeting between these teams was dramatic, with Kortney Hause scoring what proved to be the winning goal before giving away a penalty that was missed by Bruno Fernandes.
Follow Aston Villa vs Manchester United LIVE with Standard Sport’s blog below!
Big news for Villa is that Lucas Digne comes straight into the team to make his debut. Targett drops to the bench as a result.
For United, it’s Elanga and Cavani up front as Ronaldo misses out on the squad entirely. Lindelof and Varane start at centre-back, with Maguire only on the bench.
Man United lineup
Starting XI: De Gea, Dalot, Lindelof, Varane, Telles, Fred, Matic, Bruno, Greenwood, Elanga, Cavani.
Subs: Heaton, Henderson, Jones, Maguire, Mata, Lingard, van de Beek, Sancho
Aston Villa lineup
Starting XI: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne, Sanson, Luiz, Ramsey, Buendia, Ings, Watkins
Subs: Steer, Hayden, Hause, Targett, Young, Iroegbunam, Chukwuemeka, Coutinho, Archer
New boys have arrived…
Just over ten minutes until we get the team news from Villa Park.
Will we see Digne and/or Coutinho for the hosts? Also doubts over Ronaldo’s fitness for United, so plenty of uncertainty for both sides.
All to be revealed shortly…
Gerrard: We can cause United problems
Steven Gerrard was disappointed that his side were beaten at Old Trafford in the FA Cup, but the Villa boss is hopeful his players will take confident from the display they produced.
“The only frustration I had the other night is we didn’t progress in the FA Cup, which is important to us,” Gerrard said.
“The only way to get the feeling and the mood back that I want is to get a big result tomorrow. It’s a unique situation, playing the same team twice in a short space of time, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to bounce back.
“If we can find a similar level of performance, be a little bit more ruthless in the final third and the big calls on the night go in our favour, I’ve got no doubt we can get the result we want.
“We know the quality and the level of player that’s coming to Villa Park and the challenge ahead of us. We’ll be respectful of that, but the players should take big belief and confidence that when they’re at their best, we can create problems for Manchester United.”
Ralf Rangnick on full-back options
The United boss has rotated his full-backs since joining the club, with Alex Telles and Diogo Dalot battling Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka for a place in the starting lineup.
Rangnick talked in depth about the players, and the different options they bring to the team.
“I’m more than happy to have two players like Luke and Alex for that position as a left-back,” Rangnick said.
“The same is true for the right-back position with Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. We have, in each of those positions, two good players and depending on who is fully fit, fully fresh, do we need to rest somebody?
“As with Luke, it’s the case right now he is suspended, so it’s important to have two players with a little bit of a different profile. I think Alex is a little more of an offensive wing-back/full-back. The same is true of Diogo Dalot on the right-hand side.
“The other two English full-backs are both defensively and offensively balanced players, so that gives the coach lots of options depending on which team you’re going to play.”
Backed by a home crowd and impressive in the FA Cup game despite a loss, we’re plumping for a Villa win as United continue to suffer teething problems under Rangnick.
Man United team news
Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay will miss the game through suspension, meaning Alex Telles and Nemanja Matic could return to the side.
Cristiano Ronaldo is hopeful he will be in contention, alongside Jadon Sancho after both missed the FA Cup win.
Elsewhere, Diogo Dalot could miss out after suffering a nasty gash on Monday.
Predicted Manchester United XI (4-2-2-2): De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Varane, Telles; Fred, Matic; Sancho, Greenwood; Ronaldo, Cavani.