Monday night sees the final FA Cup Third Round tie taking place at Old Trafford.
Ralf Rangnick is already under pressure just a few weeks into his tenure at Manchester United, whilst Steven Gerrard will hope to replicate the 1-0 win that Villa earned at the Theatre of Dreams earlier in the season under Dean Smith.
Both teams are in a transitional period, but one can’t help but think that Gerrard is getting much more out of his players than Rangnick is managing.
Perhaps that has something to do with the level that the former played at throughout his entire career.
Though respect is always earned, a certain standing in the game affords the same from the outset, and it’s that which Rangnick appears to be lacking.
A total change of system from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure at United was always going to take some getting used to, albeit the Red Devils have some truly elite exponents at the club, so the issues clearly run deeper than not being able to adapt to a new way of working.
Cristiano Ronaldo misses out with a hip problem whist Harry Maguire is surprisingly rested for the game, with Victor Lindelof returning to the centre of the United defence.
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— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 10, 2022
For the visitors, Gerrard, as might be expected, has named just about his strongest possible XI for the game.
An FA Cup run represents Villa’s only realistic hope of silverware this season, so expect to see Villa on the front foot throughout.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 10, 2022