Manchester United vs Aston Villa Final – LIVE Football Reddit Score 15 Jan 2022
The final fixture of the third round of the 2021/22 FA Cup will take place on Monday night as Manchester United and Aston Villa square off against each other, hoping to keep their chances of winning a trophy alive. Following an early wave of optimism after the appointment of interim manager Ralf Rangnick, the atmosphere around Manchester United is once again gloomy and filled with negativity following their disappointing 1-0 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League earlier this week. The pressure is on the German to turn things around and get his team playing on the front-foot after some dull displays.
The Red Devils will be up against an Aston Villa side who also find themselves in a tricky position after a positive start to life under new boss Steven Gerrard. The Midlands club have lost four of their previous six matches, including their last two against Chelsea and Brentford. However, they have looked good under the former Liverpool captain and will back themselves to pile more misery on their opponents. Last time around, Manchester United were eliminated from the FA Cup at the quarter-final stages by eventual champions Leicester City while Villa crashed out of the competition in the third round at the hands of Liverpool. Both will be aiming to go the distance this time out, and ahead of their first match-up in the tournament, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the teams.
Manchester United will be looking to return to winning ways in the Premier League when they travel to Villa Park to take on Aston Villa on Saturday evening. The Red Devils recorded a 1-0 victory over Villa when the two teams met in the FA Cup on Monday, with Scott McTominay scoring the only goal of the third-round contest at Old Trafford. A strong Villa side could not overcome Man United in the FA Cup on Monday, but head coach Steven Gerrard will have been delighted with what he saw from his team for long spells of the contest, with the home side needing to ride their luck to advance to the fourth round of the competition.
The Champions League also resumes next month, with the Red Devils, who won 3-1 at Villa Park in the Premier League last term, facing Atletico Madrid in the round of 16, and the 2021-22 campaign could yet to be a success for Man United despite their issues thus far. Villa will again be without the services of Leon Bailey and Marvelous Nakamba through injury, while key midfielder John McGinn is absent through suspension.
Paul Pogba is currently the team’s only confirmed absentee through injury, but Luke Shaw and McTominay are suspended, while Eric Bailly is in action at the Africa Cup of Nations. Nemanja Matic could take McTominay’s spot in midfield, while Ronaldo is likely to be joined in the final third by Edinson Cavani, with Marcus Rashford dropping out. There have been suggestions that Rangnick could opt for a midfield diamond, but Donny van de Beek is still unlikely to be involved from the start amid the growing speculation surrounding his future.
Villa have shown their intent by bringing Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne to the club during the January window, and there is no question that Gerrard will be targeting a top-half finish, despite the fact that the team actually sit a disappointing 14th in the table after 19 matches of the 2021-22 campaign. The hosts have won seven, drawn one and lost 11 of their 19 league games this term to collect 22 points, but they are only three points behind 10th-placed Leicester City, and it is difficult to look too closely at the table at the moment, as a number of teams have matches to catch up on after COVID-19 issues.
Bertrand Traore and Trezeguet will also miss out due to their involvement in the Africa Cup of Nations, while Ashley Young is a doubt to face his former club this weekend. There could be two debutants on show for the home side, with Coutinho, who has arrived on loan from Barcelona, potentially being joined in the starting XI by new left-back Digne.
A start for Coutinho could see Danny Ings drop out, while McGinn’s absence will open the door for Frenchman Morgan Sanson to feature in a midfield three alongside Douglas Luiz and Jacob Ramsey. As for Man United, Ronaldo is expecting to be available despite a hip complaint, while Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho, Diogo Dalot and Phil Jones should also be cleared to make the squad.
The visitors might have beaten Villa in the FA Cup on Monday, but they lost their last league game at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers on January 3, which put a dent in their top-four aspirations. Ralf Rangnick’s side are currently seventh in the table, six points behind fourth-placed West Ham United with two games in hand on the Hammers, so they are still very much in the argument for a Champions League spot.
Cristiano Ronaldo has said that only a top-three spot will be good enough for the club, but they are 11 points off third-placed Liverpool and will find it difficult to finish any higher than fourth this term. The 20-time English champions have three huge Premier League matches against Villa, Brentford and West Ham to finish the month of January before taking on Middlesbrough in the FA Cup at the start of February.