Saturday Betting Odds, Picks, Prediction for Manchester United vs. Aston Villa: Total Has Value at Old Trafford (Sept. 25)
Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images. Pictured: Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo
- Manchester United hosts Aston Villa at Old Trafford in Saturday's Premier League action.
- The Red Devils are off to a fast start, while the visiting Villans have sorely missed Jack Grealish.
- Matthew Trebby breaks down the contest below and details why he finds value on the total.
Manchester United vs. Aston Villa Odds
|Manchester United Odds||-270|
|Aston Villa Odds||+650|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-172 / +140)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 a.m. ET|
|How To Watch||Peacock Premium|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Manchester United look to keep pace with the top of the Premier League on Saturday morning when they host Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils have been the talk of the league so far this season, with a couple fantastic performances and bringing back Cristiano Ronaldo. United have scored some of the best goals of the season, but their numbers indicate some regression coming.
Villa, meanwhile, are getting used to life without Jack Grealish. So far, so good, although like United there are some signs that things could go downhill if their chance creation doesn’t improve.
Let’s break this one down.
Manchester United Already Relying on Ronaldo
In three appearances for United, Ronaldo has four goals. His three in the Premier League have come down to tap-ins or questionable goalkeeping, but there’s no question he’s going to keep putting himself in strong positions. He has 3.32 expected goals (xG) through his first 180 minutes back in the Premier League.
The Red Devils have not created as many chances as they would have liked to start the season, instead relying on some brilliant finishing. For example, Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood, Jesse Lingard and Fred have a combined 10 Premier League goals on just 2.86 xG. That’s an incredible conversion rate that’s likely to see some regression.
The good news is that Ronaldo is not just talented, but he’s a very smart player who constantly finds himself getting scoring chances. While the rest of the team’s finishing eventually regresses, they’ll definitely have the Portuguese superstar to rely on going forward.
One of Lingard’s goals was a late winner last weekend at West Ham in what was a fantastic game. United created 1.90 to the Hammers’ 1.67, although much of West Ham’s total came from a late Mark Noble penalty miss.
United have won their first two league home games of the season 5-1 over Leeds and 4-1 against Newcastle. United took a shocking and insufficient 31 points from their 19 home games last season, including a shocking six defeats. Perhaps a full Old Trafford is the key to their success.
Aston Villa Struggling Going Forward Minus Grealish
Villa won’t be too upset with seven points from their first five games of the season, which puts them 10th in the table.
There is reason for potential concern, though.
It was clear that Grealish’s exit created a massive void in the Villa team in terms of chance creation. Grealish was a one-man attack when fit, ranking near the top of the league in shot-creating actions in each of the past two seasons despite injury issues last year.
Through those five games, Villa have scored eight goals on a shocking 3.18 non-penalty expected goals (NPxG).
Villa’s season-high in xG is 1.18, which came against Newcastle on Aug. 21. The only top side they’ve played this season is Chelsea. Otherwise, against Watford, Newcastle, Brentford and Everton they managed a combined 3.53 xG, which includes two penalty kicks, which is about 0.75 xG per shot.
Defensively, Villa are solid. Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings create a solid pair in the center, and Emiliano Martinez is reliable between the posts.
Betting Analysis & Pick
United have suffered two embarrassing defeats over the past two midweek sets of fixtures. First, it was in the Champions League away to Young Boys. On Wednesday, it was at home to West Ham in the Carabao Cup, although I don’t think any Red Devils supporter is going to be too upset about that.
Last week, we saw United bounce back from the Young Boys defeat with a win at West Ham, although it was left very late and done in very unconvincing fashion.
Bookmakers are pretty confident that this game is going to go over 2.5 goals, despite the lack of chance creation from either team. I understand that United tend to open more at home and have a ton of quality going forward, but the numbers say they’re due for some regression in front of goal — or wherever they’re shooting from on the attacking side of the pitch.
FanDuel has the total under 2.5 goals at +140, which I think delivers good value. Obviously, United have plenty of quality and will likely control the ball, but Villa aren’t a huge threat on the counter attack and will be well-organized under an experienced manager in Smith.
I’d play this down to +125. Sit back and watch the chances not fly in.
Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (+140)