Following Steven Gerrard’s sacking in October, interim manager Aaron Danks oversaw two 4-0 games, first thrashing Brentford at home before overseeing a heavy defeat against Newcastle United last weekend.
Villa will have to be far better than they were in that game if they are going to take anything against Manchester United, with Erik ten Hag’s side sitting just outside the top four after their most recent win against West Ham.
Here is how Football FanCast expects Emery to set his side up on Sunday, with five changes from the team that started at St James’ Park.
Olsen, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne, McGinn, Luiz, Bailey, Ramsey, Coutinho, Watkins (4-2-3-1)
After suffering a head injury at Newcastle, it seems likely that Emiliano Martinez will be forced to miss out on Sunday, so backup ‘keeper Robin Olsen will likely start in between the sticks.
There is one change in defence as Lucas Digne comes in for Ashley Young, who drops out against his old side as Emery may prefer a more natural left-back to defend against United’s pacey front line.
Club captain John McGinn also returns in midfield, replacing Leander Dendoncker, as Emery will surely want to get his own opinion on the Scotland international after he was dropped by Danks.
There are two changes in attacking midfield, as Jacob Ramsey and Philippe Coutinho come into the side, as the Brazilian has terrorised United in the past, so should start ahead of Emiliano Buendia.
Finally, the “outstanding” Danny Ings – in the words of Jurgen Klopp – drops to the bench, with Ollie Watkins taking a more advanced position up top in replacing him, in the hope that the former Brentford man can cause problems with his pace and physicality.