Aston Villa vs. Manchester United: Simulating EPL Tie with FIFA 14 on Xbox One

Nick Akerman@NakermanFeatured ColumnistDecember 14, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  A dejected David Moyes the Manchester United manager walks off the pitch following his team's 1-0 defeat during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Old Trafford on December 7, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Hot on the heels of Bleacher Report's Manchester City vs. Arsenal simulation, we've got another dose of virtual Premier League action in the form of Aston Villa taking on fellow mid-table team Manchester United.

Both of these clubs have won just two of their last six games, per, suggesting we may be in for a cagey affair at Villa Park.

Paul Lambert's side have nothing to lose in front of their home fans, while David Moyes' men will be fearing yet another crippling defeat after successive losses to Everton and Newcastle.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:  Paul Lambert manager of Aston Villa looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Southampton and Aston Villa at St Mary's Stadium on December 4, 2013 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Can either side overturn their dismal run? Using the scientific method that is FIFA 14 on the Xbox One, we worked out exactly that. It's worth noting that all fitness information up to the time of writing has been taken into account, courtesy of the Premier League's official website.


FIFA 14 Highlights

3'—Excellent start from United, who keep possession and eventually work the ball toward Wayne Rooney in the box. He lays a simple chance on for Nani, who scuffs his shot wide.

7'—Desperate defending from Villa, who haven't got to grips with the pace of Nani and Antonio Valencia down the flanks.

10'—A long ball is played toward Christian Benteke from the flank, but the Belgian strays offside.

15'—Classy hold-up play from Rooney. He finds Shinji Kagawa coming in from the right, who crosses to Nani. Brad Guzan is clattered as he collects.

23'—GOAL! NANI! Rooney holds the ball up once more and passes to Valencia, who slots a lovely through ball into the path of Nani. The Portuguese winger manages to tussle his way through the defence and slides home a slow shot.

27'—Villa upping the tempo a little but really struggling to deal with the spring of United's attack.

35'—Nemanja Vidic fails to deal with a high ball up to Gabriel Agbonlahor. The Englishman finds Benteke out wide, but the powerful forward takes an age to cross. Agbonlahor eventually gets a header in, but a simple dive sees David De Gea save.

42'—United back on the offensive, but Karim El Ahmadi halts their progression up the pitch. Villa are found offside another two times from two long balls.

45'—GOAL! ROONEY! Poor defensive work from Villa again as Leandro Bacuna kicks the ball off Nani and into the stride of Rooney. He lashes home with no hassle. The original header into the box was from a Villa player, shocking!

45+1'—GOAL BENTEKE! BUT IT'S RULED OUT! Agbonlahor plays a teasing ball beyond the United defence and Benteke taps home, but he was rightfully called offside. Sums up the half for the hosts.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10:  Christian Benteke of Aston Villa looks on during a Pre Season Friendly between Aston Villa and Malaga at Villa Park on August 10, 2013 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
David Rogers/Getty Images

Half-time Score: Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United (Nani, Rooney)

50'—Villa maintain possession but with very little bite. There's not much for the home fans to get excited about here.

54'—Tom Cleverley volleys over from close range. Valencia set his teammate up, but the midfielder can only blast toward the stands.

60'—United control possession until Valencia misplaces a simple pass. Phil Jones cuts out the counter with a tremendous sliding tackle.

69'—Andreas Weimann latches on to a through ball but is offside. The Austrian really could have held his run, but once again, the linesman halts Villa's attack.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 29:  Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa scores his sides sixth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on April 29, 2013 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

72'—SUBS: Anderson for Jones, Libor Kozak for Weimann.

79'—Some really good work from Villa. Lambert's side are now playing with pace and purpose. United finally look to be worried at the back. It's amazing what happens when long balls are disregarded.

84'—SUBS: Aleksandar Tonev for Bacuna, Adnan Januzaj for Nani.

88'—GOAL TONEV! He's barely been on five minutes, but the Bulgarian makes a difference! Villa's spell of dominance continued until Benteke swept a deep cross toward De Gea's far post. Tonev almost rode on Yacouba Sylla's back to meet the ball with a tremendous top-corner header.

90'—TWO MINS OF ADDED TIME TO BE PLAYED. The clock is against Villa now, especially as United slow the pace with controlled possession.

90+2'—Anderson takes the lead and tries one last through ball to Rooney. Guzan gathers and the final whistle sounds.

FULL TIME: Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester United 2 (Nani, Rooney, Tonev)

CARDIFF, WALES - NOVEMBER 24:  Manchester United player Wayne Rooney celebrates the first goal  during the Barclays Premier League match between Cardiff City and Manchester United at Cardiff City Stadium on November 24, 2013 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by
Stu Forster/Getty Images

So FIFA 14 predicts a win for the away side, but right now, who has the guts to bet on Moyes' men leaving Villa Park with three points? The unpredictable nature of Premier League football leaves this one hanging in the balance, but I'm sure a few punters will fancy the following bet:

ODDS: Manchester United to win 2-1 and Nani to score first, 50-1 with Skybet.

Can United come good away from Old Trafford? Will Villa provide further misery for the current champions? Be sure to let us know your comments below.