Paul Merson discusses his prediction for Man United v Aston Villa
Paul Merson is tipping Man United's clash with Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Saturday to end all square
Paul Merson is expecting to see Manchester United be held to a 1-1 draw by Aston Villa in their Premier League clash at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime.
The Red Devils are preparing for the game looking to make it four wins in a row in the Premier League as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men look to lay down the foundations for a serious title challenge this season.
Solskjaer’s side were dumped out of the League Cup on Wednesday night when they suffered a disappointing 1-0 home defeat by West Ham United in the third round.
Manchester United also began their Champions League campaign with a 2-1 loss away to Young Boys last week.
However, their Premier League form has been solid so far, with Solskjaer’s men having only dropped two points this season to leave them joint top of the table heading into this weekend’s round of fixtures.
Aston Villa, meanwhile, are looking to make it back to back wins in the top flight for the first time this season, with Dean Smith’s men starting the weekend in 10th place in the table.
Former Arsenal star Merson feels that Manchester United’s results in the Premier League have been better than their performances, and he thinks Aston Villa are likely to snatch a point from Saturday’s game.
Writing in his column for Sportskeeda, Merson said: “Manchester United are a funny team – they are not playing well at the moment, but they’ve won four Premier League games out of five this season.
“If you look at their results, though, you’ll see that they’ve been a bit fortunate along the way.
“The game against Wolves was a smash and grab, while the one against Newcastle United was in the balance at 1-1 before Cristiano Ronaldo scored his second of the night.
“I don’t mean to disrespect them, but Young Boys are a pub team in Europe, but Manchester United lost to them in the Champions League!
“They fell over the line against West Ham United in the Premier League and were beaten by the same opponents in the EFL Cup at Old Trafford, so it’s not been plain sailing for them.
“Aston Villa played well against Chelsea in the first half and should have been in front, but they failed to put away their chances.
“If they start like that against Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co could be in trouble! I’ve seen enough this season to think that Villa can cause a few problems, so I think this game will finish 1-1.
“Manchester United always hope for Cristiano Ronaldo to come to the party, but the rest of the team needs to show up in the weeks ahead. They know they can’t keep riding their luck, so this will be an interesting game.”
Manchester United have a strong advantage in this fixture historically speaking, with the Red Devils having won 37 games to Aston Villa’s three in the Premier League era.
The Red Devils also have an excellent record at Old Trafford against Villa, having won 18 of their last 21 home league games against Saturday’s opponents.