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Manchester United v Aston Villa Tips: Fernandes to continue his hot streak against the robust Villans?

Manchester United v Aston Villa Tips: Bruno Fernandes has scored four goals in his last four games for United
Manchester United v Aston Villa Tips: Bruno Fernandes has scored four goals in his last four games for United

Two sides who both find themselves in good form at the moment lock horns this Friday, as Manchester United take on Aston Villa at Old Trafford. 

United have lost just one of their previous ten league games and head into this on the back of a late victory over Wolves in midweek, while Aston Villa are unbeaten in five and held Chelsea to a 1-1 draw in their last outing.

A win for the hosts here will see them go level with points with Liverpool at the top of the Premier League, giving them plenty of motivation to clinch the spoils here. United are the 7/10 favourites heading into this one, while Villa travel north at odds of 10/3 for the win and the draw is 3/1. 

In terms of injury news and suspensions, United are without Edinson Cavani following his three-match ban and £100,000 fine, while defender Victor Lindelof is an injury doubt and both Marcus Rojo and Phil Jones remain sidelined. Villa, meanwhile, will be without Henri Lansbury, Trezeguet and Wesley through injury, while Ross Barkley faces a late fitness test. 

I’ve picked out three football tips for the game, which will be shown live on Sky Sports at 8pm this New Year’s Day, below. Good luck to anyone following and please remember to gamble responsibly. 

Premier League betting
Manchester United v Aston Villa
Fri, 20:00
Manchester United to win & BTTS
  • United are unbeaten in the league since the start of November, but have kept just one clean sheet in their last four games
Odds correct as of 2020-12-31 15:25 Odds subject to change.

First up I’m backing United to win and both teams to score. Villa will prove tough opposition here; they have really impressed all season long and currently sit fifth, just three points outside the top-four with a game in hand. 

However, United are on a roll at the moment and will move level on points with leaders Liverpool with a victory, which I think will give them the added incentive required to get the win. It’s difficult to see them keeping a clean sheet, though, given Villa’s extensive attacking talent and the fact they have managed just one shutout in their last four league games. 

With that in mind, a home win and BTTS is my play for this one, best priced at 2/1 with Betfair. 

Today's football tips
Harry Maguire 1+ shot on target
  • The England man has registered 5 shots on target this season - the third-highest defender in the division
  • Poses a huge threat from set pieces
Odds correct as of 2020-12-31 15:25 Odds subject to change.

Next up I’m getting behind Harry Maguire to register at least one shot on target. The England centre-back is such a threat from set pieces and the first man United look to find from corners and free-kicks. 

With five shots on target and a goal to his name so far in 2020-21, Maguire is the third-highest ranked defender for SoT this term and I’m hoping he can better his tally in the first game of 2021 and land us this 11/4 play, boosted from 9/4 by Paddy Power. 

Fernandes to score anytime, Grealish to have 1+ SoT, Grealish and Cash carded
  • Fernandes is in hot form right now with four goals in his last four league outings
  • Grealish is Villa's second most booked player with 4 yellows and could become frustrated against AWB
  • Grealish is also Villa's biggest creative threat and has registered 14 SoT in 2020-21
  • Cash has five yellows this season - more than anyone in the Villa squad and will be up against Rashford
Odds correct as of 2020-12-31 15:30 Odds subject to change.

Finally, I’ve plucked out a longshot for the optimists, priced at 28/1 with Paddy Power. 

Bruno Fernandes has been one of the best signings in recent Premier League history for United. Since his arrival in January he has given the Red Devils a much-needed breath of fresh air and this season he has picked up exactly where he left off in 2019-20 by scoring 10 goals and providing seven assists in the league.

The Portugal midfielder has netted four goals in his last four games and I can foresee him adding to his total against Villa due to his sky-high confidence. This selection’s chances is boosted by the fact that Fernandes is on penalty duty for United, and the Old Trafford side have been awarded five spot kicks this season - second only to Leicester who have been awarded 10.

Doubling this up is Villa’s Jack Grealish to register at least one shot on target AND be carded. It’s no secret just what a talented player the Villans skipper is and this time out he has been his side’s most influential player by providing five goals and six assists in the top-flight. 

The 25-year-old is one of the highest ranked midfielders for shots on target (14) and I think he will definitely look to test David de Gea here, especially following his magnificent goal at OT last season. He is somewhat of a liability when it comes to tackling though, shown by his four yellows this term, and up against a tough tackler like Aaron Wan-Bissaka I can see Grealish getting frustrated if things don’t go his way which could lead to a card.

To round this bet off I’m also adding Villa’s Matty Cash to be booked. The right-back has picked up five yellows this season making him his club’s most-booked player, while he has averaged 1.5 fouls per game in 2020-21 - stats which suggest that he could pick up another caution directly up against the speed and trickery of Marcus Rashford on United’s left hand side. 

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