Manchester United head to Villa Park this Sunday in a bid to continue closing the gap to Champions League football.
Erik ten Hag appears to have finally got his Manchester United side performing again. The club look free-scoring with seven goals in the last two games – a number which is almost a third of the amount scored in the previous 21 games.
The upturn in form has coincided with Ineos beginning to place themselves into the club and also as Rasmus Hojlund, Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo have all come into their own.
The next challenge on Ten Hag’s hands will be to turn this side into something consistent after months which lacked that.
To build on two consecutive wins, United will need to overcome the high-flying Aston Villa but will be confident as they did just that already this season in a 3-2 win in December.
A win moves United within five points of fourth-placed Villa and Ten Hag will be keen to reignite a Champions League bid. But how will Ten Hag line up? Here’s our predicted XI…
This is a game in which United can lay down a real marker and let the league know they’re back. So therefore Ten Hag needs to go strong in his line-up.
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This begins with Andre Onana in goal fresh off his seventh clean sheet of this Premier League season – which makes him joint second in the league.
Diogo Dalot has been incredible this year so far and with Aaron Wan-Bissaka‘s injury woes persisting, he’s in line to start once more.
The centre-half position has taken a serious blow after Lisandro Martinez picked up a freak new injury. This means the pairing is likely to be Raphael Varane alongside Harry Maguire.
At left-back, Luke Shaw should start – although centre-back is an option with eagle-eyed supporters noticing 16-year-old Harry Amass in first-team training.
Moving into the midfield, Ten Hag should stick with the winning formula of Kobbie Mainoo and Casemiro which impressed in the 3-0 thumping of West Ham United.
Ahead of these two, captain fantastic, Bruno Fernandes, is guaranteed to start.
Moving into the attack, we’d be gobsmacked if things are changed, as Alejandro Garnacho makes the right wing his own and Marcus Rashford shows signs of returning to form.
Up top is the man in form, Rasmus Hojlund, he can’t stop scoring right now and should continue his streak here.