Manchester United host Aston Villa in their third-round EFL Cup tie on Thursday as the Red Devils look to bounce back following a disappointing league result at Villa Park last weekend. Expected to marginally rotate the squad for the cup tie, Erik Ten Hag will be keen on avoiding past mistakes on the pitch, with United hoping to emerge as contenders for the trophy moving forward.
Having secured promising results despite struggling for consistency in performances in recent outings, Manchester United will be keen on registering an encouraging victory against Aston Villa. With the team having improved their overall displays since Ten Hag’s appointment this season, the Red Devils will be keen on ending the first half of the season on a positive before resuming their campaign after the World Cup in December.
With a number of players having returned from injury, Ten Hag is likely to rotate his squad on Thursday. Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, and Anthony Martial are expected to return to the starting line-up while Scott McTominay remains in contention for a start against Moyes’ men. Cristiano Ronaldo is likely to be named on the bench while Martin Dubravka could make his club debut at Old Trafford on Thursday.
Probable Manchester United Starting Line-Up Against Aston Villa
Martin Dubravka (GK): Yet to make his club debut, Dubravka is likely to be granted the nod ahead of David De Gea on Thursday. With the Spaniard unlikely to be displaced anytime soon, the Slovakian will be keen on delivering a notable performance against the Lions.
Diogo Dalot (RB): Amongst the team’s standout performers hitherto, Dalot will be keen on delivering consistent displays before the World Cup break. Expected to retain his place in the starting line-up against Villa, the full-back will be looking to deliver a notable performance on Thursday.
Harry Maguire (RCB): Yet to cement his place in the starting line-up, Maguire will be keen on delivering a notable contribution on Thursday. Likely to slot back into the starting line-up before the World Cup, the England international will be keen on returning to his best over the coming fixtures.
Lisandro Martinez (LCB): United’s most consistent player this season, Martinez will be keen on maintaining his excellent form moving forward. Having proven to be a vital part of the team’s defensive structure, the centre-back will be keen on delivering a valuable performance on Thursday.
Tyrell Malacia (LB): Having witnessed a reduction in his game-time in recent outings, Malacia will be keen on regaining his spot in the starting line-up over the coming fixtures. Likely to be granted opportunities, the left-back will be looking to perform to the best of his abilities over the coming fixtures.
Scott McTominay (CDM): Utilised as a rotational option in recent outings, McTominay will be keen on staking a claim for a starting spot moving forward. Having shown promising improvement under Ten Hag, the midfielder will be keen on making the best of his opportunities over the coming fixtures.
Christian Eriksen (CM): Enduring a rough patch of form, Eriksen will be keen on delivering a notable performance on Thursday. Pivotal to the team’s overall creativity in attack, the Danish international is expected to remain amongst the first names on the team sheet moving forward.
Anthony Elanga (RW): With Antony unlikely to return in time to face Villa, Elanga is likely to be granted a start on Thursday. Yet to perform to this potential, the winger will be keen on making the best of his opportunities over the coming fixtures.
Bruno Fernandes (CAM): Having missed out due to suspension last weekend, the Manchester United midfielder is expected to slot back into the starting line-up facing Aston Villa at Old Trafford. Amongst the players struggling for consistency, the midfielder will be looking to deliver a valuable contribution on Thursday.
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Marcus Rashford (LW): Amongst the team’s promising forwards in recent outings, Rashford will be keen on maintaining his excellent form moving into the World Cup. Likely to emerge as the team’s impactful player against Villa, the winger will be keen on delivering a notable performance at Old Trafford.
Anthony Martial (ST): Expected to slot back into the starting line-up ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, Martial will be keen on making an impact against Villa on Thursday. Having been amongst the promising players on the pitch when fit, the Frenchman will be keen on performing to the best of his abilities over the coming fixtures.
Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa
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