Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have to make one forced defensive change as Manchester United travel Villa Park to face Aston Villa on Thursday.

Manchester United lock horns with Aston Villa on Thursday hoping to extend their winning run to five games in all competitions. The Red Devils are one of the most in-form teams in the Premier League at the moment and coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will look to make minimal changes ahead of his team’s trip to Villa Park.

However, the Norwegian mastermind might be forced to make at least one change in defence after Victor Lindelof picked up a back injury in the last game. The club has confirmed that the Swede remains a doubt, thus potentially paving the way for Eric Bailly to return to the starting lineup.

The Ivorian should partner Harry Maguire at the heart of Manchester United’s four-man backline. Elsewhere in defence, both Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka could retain their places in the side, with David de Gea also set to start in goal.

Eric Bailly could come into the side in place of Victor Lindelof. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Eric Bailly could come into the side in place of Victor Lindelof. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

During his online press conference, Solskjaer has hinted that there could be a change in the holding midfield role, with Scott McTominay coming in at the expense of Nemanja Matic.

“I think Scott is obviously still a young boy. He’s seven or eight years younger than Nemanja [Matic] and Nemanja has been on record saying that he sees himself in Scott, so the two can bounce off each other. It’s never easy. I’ve told Nemanja before that Scott is going to play and he’s all right because he rates him and vice versa,” said the Manchester United manager.

McTominay, therefore, will look to shift the back four while his midfield partner, Paul Pogba will be tasked with the responsibility of providing the creative essence going forward. The Frenchman will link up with Bruno Fernandes, who is expected to operate as a no. 10 once again.

The Portuguese international has been in dream form since joining from Sporting CP in January. It is needless to say that he remains arguably the most important player for Manchester United heading into this fixture.

Moving forward, youngster Mason Greenwood has greatly impressed in recent weeks and should continue to get the nod ahead of players like Daniel James and Jesse Lingard. He is expected to operate on the right wing, although the Englishman usually likes to hover in a more central role.

Elsewhere, Marcus Rashford is a guaranteed starter on the opposite flank while Manchester United could once again be led by Anthony Martial. The front trio of Martial, Rashford and Greenwood all scored in the win over Bournemouth and it will be interesting to see if they can replicate their performance against Aston Villa this midweek.

Manchester United Predicted XI: de Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Pogba; Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford; Martial

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