At Old Trafford on Sunday, fight for Europe and fight for survival

Obviously all Aston Villa fans are interested in what is happening for us at the moment and the trip to Manchester United on Sunday is an exciting one. But there is a little part of me that is also interested in what is happening at the bottom.

It's also a way to distract me from thinking about Sunday, so I'm just going to dive in. Three sides are going down and for me, it's three of Southampton, Everton, Leicester, Forest and Leeds. I don't think it's safe to say any side is down, but if you were a Southampton fan it must be hard to see anything else.

I bumped into an Everton fan in my local shop yesterday and he thinks it comes down to Monday. Lose at Leicester on Monday and it's over. I think there might be a chance for them still, but I do think one of those two will go down. I think I want Leicester to stay up because of Dean Smith but it's also interesting to see a side that won the Premier League so recently, fighting for survival. Football is a fickle game.

But this is an Aston Villa blog and we should be focusing on Sunday and our match. It's going to be tough, but if we have seen anything this season, we have reason to be optimistic. If we get to implement our game plan in a better way than Manchester United get to implement, then we have every chance of winning, but it will be tough, because it's Manchester United.

And it will be one step closer to Europe next season and I still can't believe I'm writing that. Anyway, here is your match post. I'm going to go for a walk. Yes, a walk, my new thing.

Match facts from the BBC


  • Manchester United have gone three league games without a win against Villa, losing twice. United had only lost two of the previous 51 league meetings (W37, D12).
  • Villa won this season's reverse fixture 3-1 in Unai Emery's first game in charge and are looking to complete their first league double over United since 1954-55.
  • The Red Devils are at risk of suffering consecutive home league defeats against Villa for the first time since 1930.
  • Manchester United beat Villa 4-2 at Old Trafford in the EFL Cup in November, four days after losing their league encounter.

Manchester United

  • Manchester United are unbeaten in 14 Premier League home games, the longest current ongoing run in the division (W11, D3). Their last defeat at Old Trafford was against Brighton on the opening weekend of the season.
  • Defeat on Sunday would be the club's 200th in the Premier League.
  • Marcus Rashford has scored 19 home goals in all competitions for United this season - the last player to net more at Old Trafford in a single campaign was Wayne Rooney, with 20 in 2009-10.
  • Rashford has been directly involved in 21 Premier League goals this season, scoring 16 and providing five assists. He has only registered more in 2019-20, with 24 goal involvements.

Aston Villa

  • Aston Villa have gone 10 Premier League games without defeat, winning eight, for the first time since October 2011.
  • They have kept seven clean sheets and only conceded three goals during that unbeaten run.
  • It's six wins and just one defeat in nine away league fixtures for Villa under Unai Emery, as many victories as in all 19 attempts when Steven Gerrard was head coach.
  • Villa have scored in all 20 Premier League matches since Emery took charge, the longest streak from the start of a manager's tenure in the competition's history.
  • Ollie Watkins has scored 11 times in 14 league appearances. He needs one more goal to become the first Villa player to reach 15 in a top-flight season since Christian Benteke a decade ago.