Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s struggles continued as he saw his Manchester United side blow a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 to footballing minnows Astana in the Europa League on Thursday night.
Sure, the team was virtually youngsters, with the likes of Lee Grant, Jesse Lingard and Luke Shaw thrown in, but tactically and even mentally he’s got to be disappointed with the result. His team were unlocked at the back on a couple of occasions by a side that have barely threatened in the competition this season, and going forward his team spent most of the game playing simple passes instead of trying to create chances of drive at the opposition.
Given how far Solskjaer was on Thursday night, the Norwegian boss will have had little time to prepare his senior players for the visit of Aston Villa to Old Trafford on Sunday.
The Villans do head into the weekend sitting narrowly above the relegation zone but are coming off a convincing 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Monday night. What’s more, they’ve been unlucky in a couple of occasions this season – losing in stoppage time to both Liverpool and Arsenal for example.
Tactically, I like Dean Smith as a manager I think he’s more than capable of getting the better of his counterpart this weekend. What’s more, I think his midfield is actually better than Manchester United’s – Jack Grealish works hard up and down the pitch, and has formed a good partnership with Conor Hourihane alongside him, and John McGinn is a goalscoring threat from the middle of the park.
Manchester United shipped three goals at Sheffield United in their last Premier League game, and their only wins in their last seven have come versus Norwich City and Brighton & Hove Albion. Aston Villa should prove some stern opposition for Solskjaer’s side and I think the hosts’ odds are so short that they are good value to lay.
Best bet: Lay Manchester United at 1.52 with Betfair
Value bet: Aston Villa to win is 7.6 with Betfair