Manchester United vs. Aston Villa EPL Pick – Gameweek 17 January 1

A New Year brings with it new opportunity and that’s quite fitting for the second EPL matchup on Jan. 1st, 2021 when Aston Villa visits Old Trafford to take on Manchester United.

Both clubs had relatively difficult 2020 campaigns. Villa were minutes away from relegation, while Manchester United flamed out in every meaningful competition. The latter stages of the year though have shown good promise for both sides, giving hope and optimism that 2021 can allow these sides to reach their full potential.

For United, though they’re out of the Champions League, it could be seen as a blessing for this talented side. They now have their full attention on the Premier League, and with a win – could temporarily move level with league leaders Liverpool. They’ve been a lot better of late, scoring key goals in big moments, while solidifying their defense. Is this a sign of things to come for this inconsistent club?

Meanwhile, Villa enters 2021 feeling thrilled about their current situation. Their talent is finally shining through, while many of their signings are paying immediate dividends. They’ve conceded the second-fewest goals in all of the Premier League, and with Tyrone Mings at the back, and Jack Grealish working his magic up top – this is a side that could push for European qualification as early as this season.

Expect a thrilling encounter between these two exciting clubs to ring in the New Year. Both squads should dress their strongest lineups, despite a condensed match schedule over the holidays – which will allow for their full skill and ability to really show. For betting analysis and further team news, continue reading on beneath the posted odds for our take and betting prediction on Villa vs. Man United. Let’s start 2021 with a win!

Manchester United vs. Aston Villa Betting Odds:

Manchester United (-135)
Aston Villa (+375)
Draw (+320)

Over 3 (+100)
Under 3 (-120)

*Betting odds provided by

Manchester United vs. Aston Villa Pick:

Man United enter this game without Edinson Cavani, as the Uruguayan veteran was suspended by the FA for an inappropriate Instagram post. That said, the Red Devils possess a ton of depth, especially in attack, and should be wine to go on without the steady striker.

Expect United to line-up in their familiar 4-2-3-1 formation. Anthony Martial will look to continue his solid run of form as the lead striker up top, while in support, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, and Juan Mata form quite the potent trio of creativity and distribution.

United have been weak at times this season at the back, though recent results have been encouraging. Eric Bailly has come in alongside Harry Maguire in the centre of defense and provided for a real sturdy duo at the back. They’ve solidified it to an extent, and have allowed the rest of the squad do what they’re best at – attack.

Villa enter in fine form, coming into this big clash after securing a convincing draw against Chelsea. Dean Smith’s side will be tough to break down, especially with big Tyrone Mings in the heart of their defense. Up top, Ollie Watkins will offer a potent attacking threat, with the shifty and pacy Jack Grealish in support. United will really need to monitor that duo closely when they aren’t in possession.

While it’s become trendy to fade or downplay Man United’s effectiveness since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson as manager, this is a franchise that is starting to get its groove back. They enter in great form, with no drama at the club, and seem to have solidified many of the issues plaguing them. They’ve been steady at home, even without their rabid fan support, and it is nearly impossible to bet against their formidable attack. They can score from anywhere, and find goals from anything. At a pretty short price, back Man United to secure a 2-1 victory to kick-off their 2021 on a winning note.

My Pick
Will S. / Author

Will has been working with The Sports Geek since its early days back in 2010. He began as a soccer specialist, focusing on detailed reports for major international competitions, including the World Cup and European Championships. Since then, he has produced weekly pick articles on both the NFL and English Premier League, while also contributing blog posts on the NHL, MLB, and even WWE wrestling. Will is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy player, always eager to share his thoughts and insight on anything going on in the world of sports.