For the first time since 2003, Premier League fans will have the chance to watch football on a Friday night live on TV (besides bank holidays). The last time a match was broadcasted to the nation on a Friday was when the Gunners downed the Toon 3-2 during the invincible season, in which Arsenal went the entirety of the campaign without recording a league loss.
So who are the two teams matching up on Friday? Aston Villa will host Manchester United at Villa Park. Within Coral’s betting preview of the match, they mention how United are unbeaten in their last 19 visits to Villa in the league, spanning over an incredible 20 years. This leaves United as odds on favourites at 4/6 for the Premier League victory, which they recommend any keen punters backing.
The betting preview also provides the key stat that Man Utd have scored three or more times in six of their last seven meetings with Villa, so it might be worth taking their advice on that one in what they have described as their ‘betting tip’ of the match.
Why is it being played on a Friday? On Saturday the English Defence League have a scheduled march through Villa Park’s neighbours, Walsall, so on advice from the police – the match was moved back a day. The match would have been moved forward to Sunday, but United face Club Brugge on Tuesday night in a Champions League play-off.
United were 1-0 victors over Spurs on the opening game of the season last Saturday, and Chris Smalling was quick to praise some of the debutants, in particular Matteo Darmian and Sergio Romero:
“I think Sergio looked the part, he came out and commanded his box, which is what you want behind you as a defender,” he continued.
“I think the new signings all slotted in effortlessly and their performances were very good. Darmian at right-back was terrific as well. It was good that they all had the majority of pre-season, apart from Sergio, to gel with our players and I think it showed.”
Villa were winners too on the opening day, as they travelled to Premier League new boys Bournemouth on Saturday and won 1-0 themselves – courtesy of a Rudy Gestede goal.
In team news, United will be without Marouane Fellaini who is still serving a suspension, whilst Phil Jones will miss the match through mild thrombosis.
Villa could be without Gary Gardner and James Okore, but Jack Grealish looks like he will be fit enough to take part.