Aston Villa vs Man United Prediction, Odds, Picks | Premier League Match Preview
(Photo by Vince Mignott/MB Media/Getty Images) Pictured: Pau Torres
Aston Villa vs Man United Odds
|Aston Villa Odds
|Man United Odds
|Over / Under
-188 / +140
Aston Villa looks to maintain their spot in the top four when they host Manchester United at Villa Park.
Aston Villa's form has dipped over the past month and they're coming off a 3-1 loss to Chelsea in the FA Cup. Even with that bad run of form, they are still sitting in fourth place and have a great shot here to extend the gap on the pack below them.
Manchester United have hit a good run of form, beating Wolves and West Ham in back to back matches to move up to sixth place in the table. They came back from a 2-0 deficit to beat Aston Villa 3-2 in the previous meeting at Old Trafford, but Manchester United has been really poor away from home under Erik ten Hag.
Read on for my Aston Villa vs. Man United prediction.
Aston Villa have hit a rough patch, but the underlying numbers during this bad run haven't been that bad. In the previous meeting against Manchester United, they actually won the expected goals battle 1.7 to 1.1.
I highly doubt Villa are going to make the same mistake again that they made against Manchester United when they lost 3-2. Aston Villa was up 2-0 in that match and kept playing an incredibly high line, which allowed Manchester United to continually make runs in behind and eventually complete the comeback. Aston Villa played a low block against Chelsea in the first FA Cup match, which is encouraging as it showed that Unai Emery isn't too stubborn in his philosophies.
Aston Villa is going to build out of the back and will have Pau Torres available. He’s been massive for them this season because he is their best ball carrying and passing centerback, which allows Aston Villa’s build up to be at it’s best. Aston Villa got caught by surprise against Newcastle, who unveiled a new aggressive pressing structure against them. I highly doubt Manchester United is going to do the same because they are a completely flawed team out of possession.
Aston Villa's form at home has been almost the polar opposite of their performances on the road. At Villa Park, they have a +10.8 expected goal differential, but away from home, they have a negative expected goal differential.
Just when things are starting to go in the right direction, Manchester United loses another player to injury. Lisandro Martinez makes such a difference for Manchester United with their ability to effectively build out of the back against an opponent's press. He was excellent in doing so against Wolves and was a big reason why Manchester United had so much success in build up. Without him, Manchester United is in the same position they’ve been in for a long time.
Casemiro started, but he's not a great on-the-ball playmaker in build up, which had been Manchester United's problem for a long time and why it was better off just playing in transition. Kobbie Mainoo solved that problem by staying deep to help in build up, but that was with Martinez conducting the build up.
United lacked control against both Wolves and West Ham — conceding 3.5 expected goals — and was torched in transition.
Manchester United is allowing 1.51 npxG per 90 minutes and have only held three opponents under one expected goal this season.
Torres being back and available for Aston Villa makes such a massive difference in their ability to build out of the back. Villa have struggled in build up against elite pressing teams, but Manchester United is the furthest thing from elite out of possession.
Aston Villa does have one big vulnerability defensively — defending corners. They have allowed the highest xG per corner of anyone in the Premier League, but the good news for them is that Manchester United is the least efficient team on corners.
Given how bad Manchester United's form away from home has been this season, I think the number here on Aston Villa is too cheap.
I have Aston Villa projected at -123, so I like the value on Aston Villa +120.