|Unai Emery's second coming in the premier league starts on Sunday with the visit of Manchester United to Villa Park, how would that go? (Photo credit: Sky Sports)|
Aston Villa vs Manchester UnitedVilla Park3:00pm
“Good ebening”, remember? He is back! Unai Emery will take charge of Aston Villa for the first time on Sunday when Manchester United visits Villa Park and he would like to get off to a flying start.
Aston Villa fired Steven Gerrard a fortnight ago following a run of bad results and a caretaker manager stepped in; the 4-0 success that followed justified Gerrard’s sacking but can Emery overcome the trauma he suffered at Arsenal to thrive with Villa?
Manchester United could end the day in the top four if they win on Sunday and then hope Tottenham loses or Newcastle doesn’t win. United currently sits in fifth and only a win will make sense as they try to build on last week’s success against Westham.
United beat Real Sociedad in Europe in midweek but still finished second in their group behind the La Liga side; as a consequence, the Red Devils will now have to negotiate two games in the playoffs against a champions league dropout and that’s a big problem for the premier league to accommodate extra fixtures.
Aston Villa would end the day in the relegation zone if they don’t pick any point at home against United and if surrounding teams manage something in their fixtures. Unai Emery’s start to life at Arsenal began with two losses albeit against Manchester City and Chelsea, can he turn things around on day 1?
United can turn to Harry Maguire who had a great game last weekend in the league and also in the Europa League game. The England defender is born again and can help the Red Devils in the absence of Raphael Varane. With the World Cup coming, now is the time for him to prove his worth.
Villa under a new manager would be fun to see. Will Emery deploy three at the back? Who are the players in the current Villa setup that will thrive under the Spaniard? Lots of questions would be asked but his first day in the office would interest lots of people.
United usually has the edge over Villa and it shouldn’t be different on Sunday even with the new manager bounce. Football knows how to surprise us but goals won’t flow on Sunday. Expect a cagey affair all game long.