United, coming off a 2-0 defeat to West Ham United, faced disappointment despite dominating possession and creating chances. Manager Erik ten Hag expressed frustration over missed opportunities, emphasizing the team's struggle to convert possession into goals. With three losses in their last five league games, United, currently in a distant eighth place, faces a challenging path to reenter the top four.
The Red Devils' struggles extend beyond recent defeats, with a lack of end product becoming a recurring issue. Midfielder Scott McTominay leads in goals, underscoring the forwards' collective struggle to find the net. However, there's hope for improvement as key players like Diogo Dalot return from suspension, and Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial aim to recover from illness.
On the other side, Aston Villa, positioned third in the table, missed an opportunity to lead the league after a draw against Sheffield United. Despite a late equalizer from Nicolo Zaniolo, Villa fell short of securing three points. Nevertheless, Zaniolo remains optimistic, emphasizing the team's strength and determination to move forward. The Villains, unbeaten in their last seven league matches, seek to maintain their strong form.
As both teams strive for redemption, the Boxing Day clash promises to be a crucial fixture that could shape their trajectories in the challenging Premier League season.