Analysis

FLIP’s Picks In-Play: Aston Villa vs Man Utd

Written by Sam Hopkinson

Aston Villa vs Manchester United is our first live game of the weekend…and we can’t think of a better way to kick-off the weekend than with some Friday night football…and if you’re thinking of entering a FLIP Sports in-play fantasy football challenge into this match, we’ve got the inside track to help you select your team.

DEFENCE

Chris Smalling

Smalling was imperious against Spurs last weekend scoring 72 FLIP points, putting in several well-timed tackles and marshalling Spurs’ sporadic attacks with ease. He also made several interceptions and blocks to keep the pressure off his defensive partner Daley Blind. If Villa are to get goals, they will need to find a way of getting past Smalling, since the United man looks in superb form and is continuing his laudable progress from last season. Without defensive reinforcements in the transfer window, United will be hoping they can keep this man fit and fresh until May, especially since most Reds fans worry that Phil Jones’ poor form is a worrying trend rather than a blip.

MIDFIELD

Jordan Veretout

One of Villa’s new boys, Jordan Veretout is the pick of midfield – and he will likely be given the chance to shine under Sherwood who likes his teams to play attacking, creative football. Although Schneiderlin had a good game against Spurs, Veretout represents more value for money here. He put in a composed performance in central midfield against Bournemouth, completing 87.2% of his passes and scoring 48 FLIP Points. Villa will need him to do the same again this Friday since his opposition will have far more quality.

Veretout will be tasked with maintaining possession and trying to find Villa’s wide players so they can feed Gestede with crosses from the wings. It sounds simple on paper of course, but against United things are rarely so straightforward.

STRIKER

Rudy Gestede

Despite not starting against Bournemouth, Gestede still scored 48 FLIP Points, due in large part to his winning goal from the bench. The goal itself was an excellent header from a corner, a good distance out, and we expect Sherwood to reward Gestede with a start against United. His aerial threat will test the likes of Blind, who may be good with the ball at his feet but is not a CB. So long as Villa get other bodies to support him, Gestede is in with a good chance of a goal against a fairly lacklustre United side.

Blackburn fans have long recognised Gestede’s ability in the Championship, and all eyes will be on the young man to see if he can be this season’s Charlie Austin or Danny Ings.

HONOURABLE MENTION

Sergio Romero

This game’s honourable mention pick is Romero in goal for United. He definitely looked a little shaky at the beginning of the game against Spurs, forced into two hurried clearances that went a little wayward. As the game went on however Romero looked more assured and was ultimately the reason United were able to hold onto the points, making several key saves to hold the Lilywhites at bay. A defiant performance from the Argentinian No. 1 scoring 74 FLIP Points.

About the author

Sam Hopkinson

Sam has attended matches everywhere from Cambodia to Canada, and is a persistent Spurs fan. If he didn’t have football, he’d probably turn to a life of crime just to get that exhilarating fix. Superstitious enough to believe that picking a player for his fantasy team spells doom for the poor sod.