After another good performance in midweek against Chelsea where a younger Aston Villa second XI took them all the way to penalties and with a bit more luck would’ve won it outright, we now quickly turn our attentions to Manchester United this weekend and the inevitable incoming penalty at Old Trafford.
Already safe in the knowledge that competent referee Mike Dean is in charge, we all know what’s liable to happen in Saturday’s early kick off but it seems that former player and now pundit Charlie Nicholas is looking forward to this one, as he feels we now have a squad that will cause Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side problems.
He still expects them to take the points obviously – but that’s the Dean and obligated penalty in play.
Speaking to the Where’s Jeff podcast this week as build up to the game continues, Nicholas felt that with the attacking strengths we now have available to us, he thought it could be quite a tasty game, even if he expected them to prove too strong for us.
“I can see Villa being very good on the counter-attack. I think so far the inspiring thing about Manchester United has been coming from behind and turning it around again. But I think we saw evidence again last weekend that they are vulnerable at the back and I do think that Danny Ings, Ollie Watkins and if Leon Bailey is fit, I think Villa can really give them a problem. I still think Man United will edge it but this is a tight one for them.”
There’s no denying this will be another incredibly difficult test for us and we all know what happens with Penalty United, particularly at Old Trafford, but we’ve seen us at our best and if we replicate that, but take our chances, we could see an unlikely victory and cause quite the upset.
With us still being a side very much in transition and still working out our new approach post Jack Grealish – whilst still bedding in our new players and practising new tactics – in some ways, it’s quite nice and refreshing to see a pundit like Nicholas hedging his bets here.
Now it’s down to us and whether or not, we see a fair game.