BBC Columnist Chris Sutton has backed Aston Villa to shock Manchester United in their upcoming Premier League clash at Villa Park on Sunday, February 11.
The Red Devils are unbeaten in five games across all competitions, having won four of them. They are on course to challenge for a place in the top four now and are currently sixth in the league table with 38 points from 23 games, eight points behind fourth-placed Villa.
In contrast, Unai Emery’s men were recently knocked out of the FA Cup after a 3-1 loss against Chelsea. Their league form has also been quite shaky, winning just two out of their last five games.
Despite this, Sutton has backed the Villans to secure all three points. He wrote (via BBC Sport):
“Manchester United impressed me in their win over West Ham with the control they had of that game – we have not seen that from them very often recently. People are saying they are getting back to their best form and when Erik ten Hag spoke afterwards, he was as upbeat as I’ve heard him be all season.”
“Rasmus Hojlund is one of the reasons Ten Hag is so positive. He played well, and again took his goal well. This is a very different test, however, even if Aston Villa have lost their past two home games, firstly against Newcastle and then to Chelsea in the FA Cup.”
“Villa are not out of the title race yet and I am backing them to respond. While I think Manchester United will score, Lisandro Martinez’s injury is a big loss for them at the back.”
Sutton’s Prediction: 2-1
Manchester United legend Roy Keane names former teammate who underachieved in his career
Manchester United icon Roy Keane believes former teammate Lee Sharpe underachieved in his career.
Keane joined the Red Devils in 1993, establishing himself as one of the club’s greats over the following 12 years. He was surrounded by club legends and winners. However, not everyone in the dressing room reached their full potential.
The 52-year-old played alongside Lee Sharpe for three years until 1996. Sharpe had a successful eight-year stint at Old Trafford, scoring 33 goals and providing 29 assists in 244 appearances in all competitions.
Sharpe joined Leeds United in 1996, however, injuries and a drop in form ensured he never found any real success until his retirement in 2004. Keane said (via United in Focus):
“Lee Sharpe was quite laid back, but he was a good guy. Maybe he would be the first to admit that he had little success in his career but could have done more if he tried harder. I think he would be honest enough to say that because he was so laid back and had the manager on his case all the time.”
“But then he went up to Leeds and got a bad injury, but I think overall, I think Sharpie would admit that he could have done more in his career, but he didn’t have that real hunger and desire to maintain a high standard over a long period of time.”
Sharpe won 10 trophies during his time at Manchester United, including three Premier League titles.