Aston Villa host Man United on Friday night as they look to defeat the Premier League giants at Villa Park for the first time in 20 years.
It has been a series of heartbreaking losses for Villa over the years, as they have succumbed to several last-gasp winners and stunning comebacks to leave them feeling cursed when it comes to United.
Their last win against the Red Devils came in August 1995 in a 3-1 win over Sir Alex Ferguson’s young stars – a result that led to Alan Hansen’s famous quote about ‘never winning anything with kids’. United have come and gone with 12 wins and seven draws since that famous day.
While Louis Van Gaal failed to keep the winning streak going last season, he will feel more confident about his chances this term, given that he has strengthened his squad over the summer.
The opening-day win over Tottenham showed much promise.
There is no place for David De Gea in the squad again as Van Gaal has dropped him due to on-going speculation regarding his future.
Nevertheless, a side likely to be led by Wayne Rooney, Memphis Depay and Juan Mata will be confident of taking all three points, especially considering history suggests that they will have an easy night’s work ahead.
However, United will underestimate Villa at their peril – given the momentum that the club are building under Tim Sherwood.
Rudy Gestede’s towering header against Bournemouth gave Villa all three points on the opening day, while a number of other new signings, particularly Jordan Amavi, impressed on their debuts.
While the task ahead is undoubtedly huge for Sherwood and his players, they will be full of confidence and itching for kick-off to test themselves against a potential title challenger.
Former Tottenham boss Sherwood has no new injury concerns, although Carles Gil and Jack Grealish are still out.
Micah Richards was arguably the star of the show at Bournemouth, and he will be relishing the opportunity to go up against an old rival in United, after spending several years at their rivals City.