United, Friday night lights and Villa Lark

_74779663_74779662Bryan Robson, George Best, Roy Keane. there are very few who have hit the legend status at Manchester United. Men who have graced the halls at Carrington leaving shadows of greatness and trails of awe behind them. Legacies that those who now put on the red shirt can only dream of emulating. Of course others have left their mark.

Some have left United fans with such unforgettable memories that even playing under Arsene Wenger’s concussion policy wouldn’t dash them from the mind. David De Gea has been United’s best player over the last two seasons but the club has moved on from much bigger losses and will do so once the Spaniard, inevitably, leaves Old Trafford.

 

It seems therefore unjust to focus on a player who might no longer want to play for the club on a night when Manchester United serve up a first taste of Friday night football, of which there will be more from next season, and travel to a ground where they have not lost in 20 years.

Saturday’s 1-0 win over Spurs was unconvincing but, as the old cliche goes, football it’s a result-driven business and notching a couple of wins early in the season won’t do United’s confidence any harm.

Villa, however, have got off to a good start themselves and look a revitalised team under Tim Sherwood.

On the other hand, as Louis Van Gaal said on Thursday, United must lay down a statement of intent away from home and taking the game to Villa instead of pass the ball around for 90 minutes would be a good way to start.

Friday night football, away from home. It’s all set up perfectly, isn’t it?

Manchester United team news

Phil Jones is the only man in football who could get injured without playing. Jones is the kind of man to miss a flight he was never getting. But the news this week is that he is currently absent with thrombosis.

The goalkeeper saga continues at United with David De Gea still excluded from the squad because earning £100,000 a week isn’t enough to keep him focused.

Understandable, of course, it must be impossible to play football once a week on that kind of money without a monkey dressed as Deborah Meaden playing the harp with one hand and wiping your balls with the other.

Aston Villa team news

Jack Grealish and Carles Gil are back in training for Villa but won’t be fit to play. Other than that Villa have a fully fit squad. And a man wearing a gilet on the touchline.

Key men

After the dross last weekend fans will be hoping for the creative front three to do what is expected of them. Something.

A man that needs to prove himself, particularly after donning the iconic number seven shirt is Memphis. He’s still young, but so was Ronaldo. The Dutch forward needs to bring some of the attacking spark he brought to PSV last season.

United have lacked free flowing attacking moves since March, now with a solid base in midfield to work from the attacking players need to start clicking or fear being replaced.

William Dawson

Predicted XI


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