The German enjoyed a strong start to his Manchester United tenure, winning three of his first five games in all competitions and remaining undefeated. However, following a 1-0 loss at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, the mood around Old Trafford is subdued once again.
Reports of dressing room unrest have added to Rangnick’s problems, but a win against Villa should serve to lift the atmosphere at the club.
The Red Devils have won the FA Cup 12 times, most recently in 2016. Villa, who are seven-time champions, have lost their last two games, but will be buoyed by the fact that they defeated United in the Premier League earlier this season.
Manchester United vs Aston Villa – Team News
Rangnick has confirmed that he will make a few changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Wolves. Paul Pogba is still sidelined due to injury, while Eric Bailly is on international duty at the AFCON.
Anthony Martial is unlikely to be considered for selection amid uncertainty over his future. Harry Maguire has not yet shaken off his injury and is likely to miss out, meaning Phil Jones could be handed another start.
Scott McTominay and Luke Shaw’s suspension will only kick in for their Premier League clash at the weekend and they are both likely to feature.
Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes should return to the starting lineup.
Philippe Coutinho is unlikely to feature for Villa, having only just arrived on loan. Ollie Watkins should make his return from injury, while Ashley Young is also pushing to start against his former club.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) January 10, 2022
Bertrand Traore and Trezeguet are unavailable due to AFCON, but John McGinn could feature ahead of his suspension at the weekend.
Manchester United vs Aston Villa – Predicted Lineups
Manchester United Predicted Lineup (4-2-2-2): Dean Henderson; Diogo Dalot, Victor Lindelof, Phil Jones, Luke Shaw; Fred, Scott McTominay; Bruno Fernandes, Jesse Lingard; Marcus Rashford, Cristiano Ronaldo
Aston Villa Predicted Lineup (4-3-3): Emi Martinez; Matthew Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Matt Targett; Jacob Ramsey, Douglas Luiz, John McGinn; Emi Buendia, Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings
Manchester United vs Aston Villa – Key Players
Manchester United – Bruno Fernandes
The Portuguese midfielder was far and away Manchester United’s best player last season but he has failed to make much of an impact in the current campaign. After being benched for the game against Wolves, Fernandes will eager to prove a point. The 27-year-old is United’s most effective attacking player and will be tasked with creating chances for Rashford and Ronaldo.
Switching our focus to the #FACup 💭🏆
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 10, 2022
Aston Villa – Ollie Watkins
After a slow start to the season, Watkins appears to be finding his best form. He has scored four goals in Villa’s last nine games and his pace and movement could pose plenty of problems for Jones and Lindelof in the United defence.
Prediction: Manchester United 2-1 Aston Villa