Unai Emery is excited by the challenge of taking his Aston Villa side to face Manchester United on Boxing Day.
Villa head to Old Trafford on the back of Friday night’s 1-1 draw against Sheffield United, Nicolò Zaniolo heading home an injury-time equaliser.
The Villans are unbeaten in seven Premier League matches and have suffered just one defeat in their last 14 outings.Emery’s Villa travel to Manchester currently third in the table on 39 points from 18 matches, with Tuesday marking the halfway point in the league season.
Asked how well positioned Villa are going into the Boxing Day clash, Emery said: “The Premier League after 38 matches is deserving for each team’s position. We are now on match 18, we are going to finish in Manchester on Tuesday on match 19, the first half of the season. And we are demanding. We are happy. I am proud of our work, our way, with our supporters and the players.
“But I want to finish on Tuesday trying to face Manchester United, really, how we can face them being in this moment better than them in the table. They are contenders to be in the top seven, top four teams more than us.“
Villa will be without Matty Cash at United after he picked up his fifth booking of the season against the Blades, incurring an automatic one-match suspension.
Cash joins Boubacar Kamara on the sidelines as the midfielder serves the second game of his three-match ban for the red card received in the 2-1 triumph at Brentford.