Unai Emery is back in the Premier League, so will his arrival spark Aston Villa into life?
Steven Gerrard was sacked as manager 16 days ago now, following a humiliating 3-0 hammering at Fulham.
Then, the two games with Aaron Danks in interim charge both finished 4-0, but with mixed results from a Villa perspective.
First, the Villans scored thrice in the first 14 minutes as they hammered Brentford.
But then, a week later, the Claret and Blue Army endured a miserable trip to Tyneside, swatted aside by Newcastle.
All of this leaves Aston Villa above the relegation zone on goal difference alone, meaning Emery certainly has a big job on his hands.
Manchester United meanwhile travel to Birmingham following a disappointing mid-week result in the Europa League.
The Red Devils had to beat Real Sociedad by 2+ goals to snatch top spot, but could only win 1-0 in San Sebastián.
Alejandro Garnacho’s first-ever senior goal not enough.
So, Man United will feature in Monday’s first knockout round draw, where they could be paired with a European giant.
Back in the Premier League, Erik ten Hag’s team are now unbeaten in five, accumulating 23 points from their last ten outings.
Last Sunday, Marcus Rashford’s towering header downed West Ham at Old Trafford, victory that leaves them fifth.
Man United are unbeaten in 23 league visits to Villa Park, dating back to a 3-1 drubbing in August 1995, after which Alan Hansen famously exclaimed ‘you can’t win anything with kids’.
Can Unai Emery’s new team change that statistic?
Aston Villa team news
Given that this is Emery’s first game in charge, it’ll be interesting to see what tactical tweaks he makes.
Jacob Ramsey is likely to be a key figure, but is one yellow card away from missing next weekend’s trip to Brighton suspended.
Diego Carlos, Ludwig Augustinsson and Boubacar Kamara are all sidelined.
In better news, Lucas Digne came off the bench last weekend, featuring for the first time since 16 September due to an ankle injury.
So, the Frenchman could start at left-back, displacing Ashley Young, who’ll be hoping to feature against his former club.
In goal, Emi Martínez went off due to concussion at St James’ Park, but is expected to start this one.
Manchester United team news
In midweek, Erik ten Hag surprisingly included Alejandro Garnacho and Donny van de Beek in his XI, the latter starting for Man United for the first time since 8 December.
With Bruno Fernandes out suspended, Christian Eriksen will start as the number ten, with Fred set to come in alongside Casemiro.
At centre-back, due to Raphaël Varane’s injury, Victor Lindelöf partnered Lisandro Martínez on Thursday, but Harry Maguire could return.
Cristiano Ronaldo has started the last three matches, so could continue up front, seeking to add to his nine career goals against Villa.
Diogo Dalot will sit out next Sunday’s trip to Fulham if booked here.