Paul Merson explains his prediction for Aston Villa v Man United

Paul Merson explains why he's expecting to see Man United claim a comfortable 2-0 win at Aston Villa on Sunday

Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag (Photo: Mark Cosgrove / depositphotos.com)

Paul Merson is tipping Manchester United to make it back-to-back wins in the Premier League with a 2-0 victory away to Aston Villa on Sunday.

The Red Devils are preparing to travel to Villa Park to take on Unai Emery’s side following the Spanish head coach’s appointment as the club’s new manager last month.

Manchester United were 1-0 winners over Real Sociedad in their final Europa League group game on Thursday night and Erik ten Hag’s side earned a 1-0 victory at home to West Ham United last time out in the Premier League.

Villa started the weekend in 16th place in the table and having lost three of their last four outings in the top flight, and they suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat by Newcastle United last weekend.

Former Arsenal midfielder Merson feels that Manchester United will have too much for Emery’s side on Sunday and he is backing them to claim a comfortable away win.

Writing in his column for Sportskeeda, Merson said: “Manchester United are a much better team now, and I’m very impressed with what Erik ten Hag has done so far. They used to lose Premier League games like the one they had against West Ham – now they’re riding their luck and winning them.

“Marcus Rashford is a shoo-in to play up front, and he will be included in the World Cup squad. I don’t think Jadon Sancho will go to the World Cup, however, and I’d be quite shocked if they picked him ahead of the likes of Maddison, Grealish, Saka, and Sterling. You can’t afford to have too many wingers in your squad.

Paul Merson

Arsenal legend Paul Merson (Photo: Sky Sports)

“Aston Villa scored four goals past Brentford the other day and went on to lose to Newcastle by the same margin the week after.

“If they lose this game as well, they’re not far away from what they were doing under Steven Gerrard. They have hard games up ahead, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they find themselves in the relegation zone on New Year’s Day.

“Manchester United have now played eight games without a defeat. They’ve played against Chelsea, Tottenham, and Newcastle in the Premier League during this period and they’ve been very good. They’re on a roll now and I’d be shocked if they dropped points this weekend.”

Manchester United are unbeaten in five league games heading into this clash, and the Red Devils have lost only once in their last 10 outings in the English top flight.

Recent history in this fixture does not make good reading for the home side, with Aston Villa having failed to win their last 23 home league games against the Red Devils.

Former Manchester United defender Patrice Evra agrees with Merson’s view and is also tipping the visitors to claim a 2-0 victory at Villa Park on Sunday, although he warned it could be a “tough” game for the Red Devils.

“This will be a good game,” Evra wrote in his own column for Metro. “Ashley Young will be back playing against Man United. Villa have their new manager and they are playing at home, they will give their everything.

“For United, it’s back to business. This will be a tough one, but I can see United winning this one.”

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