Manchester United is set to welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford on Tuesday, with both teams seeking a Boxing Day resurgence following disappointing performances.
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Erik ten Hag’s United squad has endured a goal drought, failing to score in four consecutive games across all competitions.
Their recent 2-0 defeat to West Ham before Christmas marked a concerning point, making it the first time in 33 years that Manchester United spent Christmas Day outside the top six.
With 13 losses already this season, the pressure is mounting on United and their Dutch coach.
However, any decisions about Ten Hag’s future might be on hold until Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS complete their takeover of the football operations, with a 25 percent club sale already completed.
On the field, injuries have taken a toll, but the primary issue lies in the team’s belief, particularly in the attacking aspect.
In contrast, Aston Villa, under the leadership of Unai Emery, exudes confidence and currently holds a strong position in the league.
Their remarkable streak of 15 consecutive Premier League home wins came to an end in the recent 1-1 draw against bottom-placed Sheffield United, with Nicolo Zaniolo equalizing deep into stoppage time.
Despite this setback, Villa has had an impressive 12 months, and their focus for 2024 is to enhance their away performances, secure a top-six finish, and make a push for victory in the UEFA Europa Conference League.