Manchester United have a proud track record when it comes to the FA Cup and the supporters would dearly love to see their team win silverware this season. It’s been a while since a trophy was landed even if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer steered the team to the Europa League final last term, although that competition was only on the cards after a previous Champions League failure.

The Red Devils have been handed a fairly tough third round opponent in the form of Aston Villa and it will see Steven Gerrard return to Old Trafford where he was always regarded as public enemy number one during his Liverpool days. However, this is also a competition where the Midlands side might be treating as something of a priority.

Should Manchester United Be Big Favourites to Win?

There isn’t a huge amount of evidence to suggest that United should be trading at 1/2 to win this FA Cup encounter. The Red Devils have only won five of their nine Premier League encounters at Old Trafford this season and they have looked distinctly underwhelming under Ralf Rangnick.

It also needs to be noted that the FA Cup is not a huge priority considering that United appear to be in a straight four-team tussle to secure fourth place in the Premier League. This game might be an opportunity for Rangnick to field some squad players and assess them ahead of the second half of the campaign.

Dean Henderson will get a shot between the sticks after playing second fiddle to David de Gea, while Jesse Lingard, Donny van de Beek and Marcus Rashford could also be set for inclusion. There is bound to be an attacking approach although it might be that Cristiano Ronaldo is given the day off considering there will be bigger fish to fry.

Can Aston Villa Repeat Earlier Victory at Old Trafford?

Although Dean Smith was axed at Aston Villa earlier this season, he did engineer a 1-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford before being given the heave-ho. The now-Norwich City manager has been replaced by Steven Gerrard and you can be sure that the latter will be desperate to secure an FA Cup triumph which could pave the way for success this term.

The Villans are one of the teams in the Premier League who are unlikely to qualify for Europe and also nowhere near danger at the foot of the table. Therefore, it could be a season where the Birmingham side can target a big run in this competition. Gerrard will hope to have Ollie Watkins back in the team and we could see him strike up a partnership with Danny Ings.

However, there have been two straight defeats after being beaten by Chelsea and Brentford, with this Monday night clash taking place five days before the teams meet at Villa Park. Gerrard will certainly be keen to stamp out the defensive errors which have seen the team concede five goals in the past two matches.

What Are the Best Bets for this FA Cup Clash?

As opposed to several of the other English FA Cup third round encounters, this could be a match where we don’t see the net bulge too many times. After all, Aston Villa won 1-0 at Old Trafford in their Premier League clash and they will be looking to improve things defensively after their recent aberrations.

It is worth paying attention to team news although Manchester United have won a couple of fixtures by a single goal since Rangnick has taken over and we could see this settled by a solitary effort on this occasion. Under 2.5 Goals is probably the strongest pick overall.


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