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Aston Villa vs. Manchester United Preview & Prediction: Goals to Come on Sunday Morning

Aston Villa vs. Manchester United Preview & Prediction: Goals to Come on Sunday Morning article feature image
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Oli Scarff/Getty. Pictured: Marcus Rashford.

  • Manchester United are favored to beat Aston Villa away from home.
  • Will new manager Unai Emery be able to provide a spark?
  • Here's what Nick Hennion is predicting.

Aston Villa vs. Man United Odds

Villa Odds +240
United Odds +110
Draw +240
Over/Under 2.5 (-125 / -110)
Day | Time Sunday | 9 a.m. ET
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In their first match under new manager Unai Emery, Aston Villa welcome Manchester United to Villa Park.

After trouncing Brentford 4-0, Villa turned in a disappointing performance last week. In a road fixture against Newcastle United, they lost 4-0. However, Villa now find themselves back at home, where they have avoided defeat in four of their first six.

As for Manchester United, they arrive in spectacular form. The Red Devils have avoided defeat in nine straight across all competitions and are 3-0-2 (W-L-D) in their last five Premier League fixtures.

Aston Villa Better at Villa Park

So far this season, Villa have played markedly better at home compared to their road performances.

As mentioned, the Midlands club is 3-2-1 at home versus 1-5-2 away from Villa Park. In the former sample, Villa have posted a +0.9 expected goals on target (xGOT) differential per 90 minutes and arrive at this match a positive regression candidate at home (+3 goal differential vs. +5.38 xGOT).

That discrepancy in performance is more so a function of Villa’s defensive performances. At home, they are allowing only 0.74 xGOT per 90 minutes whereas they’re conceding 1.93 xGOT per 90 away from home, per fotmob.com.

That said, there’s simultaneously a drastic improvement offensively. So far, Villa have created 1.64 xGOT per 90 minutes at home compared to only 0.55 xGOT/90 minutes away from home.

Man United Growing in Confidence

Give Manchester United credit – a season after posting horrible underlying metrics away from home, they have started to improve.

While not on the level of their fellow Big Six clubs, United have a +0.79 xGOT differential away from Old Trafford this season. That’s the fourth-best mark in the entire Premier League.

Plus, United are actually a positive regression candidate away from home, particularly on the defensive end. Through his first six fixtures road EPL matches, manager Erik ten Hag’s side has conceded 12 goals against only 8.15 xGOT, per fotmob.com.

On the offensive end, United’s metrics are understandably worse than at Old Trafford. However, they are still creating 1.49 xGOT per 90 minutes away from home compared to 1.64 xGOT/90 at home.

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Aston Villa vs. Manchester United Prediction

Historically, this fixture has produced goals and I’m expecting another offensive showcase on Sunday.

Three of the last four meetings – including both at Villa Park – have cleared 2.5 goals. In that sample, there has been an average of 2.77 combined xGOT with each team generating at least 1 xGOT in three.

Focus on just on the two meetings at Villa Park and bettors will find the combined xGOT average rises to 3.55 with Villa alone creating 1.65 xGOT per 90 minutes.

Given United arrive at this fixture on short rest, I expect a reinvigorated Villa offense will create meaningful chances against a United defense missing Raphael Varane.

At the same time, Villa’s defense have played three big six sides this season and has yet to keep a clean sheet. Across their past 27 fixtures against such sides, Villa have kept only three clean sheets, two of which were undeserved based on xG.

For those reasons, take the over up to -130.

The Pick: Total Over 2.5 Goals (-125) 

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