Manchester United will warm up for the start of our 2020/21 Premier League season when we take on Aston Villa in a friendly match this Saturday.
It’s just over two months since we last made the trip to Villa Park – a journey the Reds have tended to enjoy in the Premier League era – but quite a bit has changed in the West Midlands since we last faced Dean Smith’s side.
With a dramatic end to last season for the home side, plus a few new signings, there’s now a different feel to this Villa outfit – so here’s everything you need to know about Saturday’s opponents…
We’ll get a first look at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans for the new campaign with Donny van de Beek potentially available to make his first appearance since joining from Ajax. This Villa Park test is a perfect warm-up for our first league game of 2020/21, against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford, seven days later.
As mentioned above, the Reds’ most recent meeting with Villa came in July, when we won 3-0 in the Premier League thanks to goals from Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba. Prior to that, we last played the Villans in December at Old Trafford, in a game that finished 2-2, with Victor Lindelof on the scoresheet for us along with an own goal from former Reds keeper Tom Heaton.
Bailly could be given another opportunity by Solskjaer to assess a partnership with Maguire at the back. The duo played together at the back briefly, but the partnership couldn’t continue due to Bailly’s injury. Marcos Rojo is another option for the United manager.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw should play at right-back and left-back respectively, while Diogo Dalot, Brandon Williams and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are other options.
With four games remaining in 2019/20, Villa looked destined for an immediate return to the Championship as they were seven points from safety. However, wins against Crystal Palace and Arsenal and two draws in games with Everton and West Ham ensured the Villans’ dramatic final-day survival. Villa ultimately finished 17th with 35 points, just one more than relegated Bournemouth. Saturday’s opponents also made it to the Carabao Cup final last term, where they were beaten 2-1 by Manchester City.