Tim Sherwood has proven to be a divisive manager among Premier League fans and pundits. For each person who considers Sherwood to be a talented manager, there is another hoping to see his Aston Villa side relegated at the end of the season. And it that second group of people who were disappointed to see Villa win 1-0 away to Bournemouth in the first game of the season.
Man Utd also won their first game of season, albeit with some fortuitous luck working to their advantage. The Reds performed without delivering decisive results in attack, only managing to create nine total attempts on goal and just one on target. Ultimately, it was a Kyle Walker own goal that earned Man Utd the three points.
Aston Villa made it to the FA Cup Final by playing with a 4-3-3 formation, and that was again the strategy for the Villains while playing Bournemouth. However, the most noticeable change in the line-up was that Villa had to start with Gabriel Agbonlahor up front instead of the departed Christian Benteke, who left for Liverpool.
Villa are also without influential midfielder Fabian Delph, who is now with Man City, but they still managed to beat newly promoted Bournemouth. Sherwood’s side played with a counter-attacking approach that saw them give up 58% of possession, and that is to be expected again when they play Man Utd on Friday night.
Ander Herrera was the standout star of Man Utd’s midfield towards the end of last season, but Louis van Gaal chose to start the creative Spaniard from the bench. Without him on the pitch, Man Utd struggled greatly to create chances. Only Wayne Rooney had a viable chance for the whole game and Walker finished that off.
Louis van Gaal would be wiser to play this game with Herrera alongside Morgan Schneiderlin and Michael Carrick. Memphis Depay played behind Wayne Rooney, but looks to be much more effective on the left wing.
Tip one: Under 2.5 goals @1.83 with Betfair
Tip two: Man Utd to win @ 1.61 with Betfair
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Villa will sit back and defend. Combine that with Man Utd’s currently blunt attack and could have a low-scoring game.