First Team News Preview

Match Preview: Manchester United v Aston Villa

Having had their lead at the top of the Premier League cut to 5 points after defeat at the DW Stadium, Manchester United will be looking to keep the pressure up on title rivals Manchester City. Strugglers Aston Villa are the visitors for this important game at Old Trafford, one which United cannot afford to drop points in. By the time the game is played, with Manchester City playing on Saturday, the lead at the top of the Premier League could potentially be cut down to just 2 points.

Manchester United

From the players on the short term injury list, only Anderson and Michael Owen remain. Phil Jones clearly picked up a knock vs Wigan away but he is expected to be fit for selection. With Paul Scholes dropped midweek, it has been confirmed by Sir Alex Ferguson that he will play vs Aston Villa. Having been substituted midweek, Wayne Rooney is also expected to start.

Likely XI: De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Scholes, Valencia, Nani, Rooney, Welbeck.

Manchester United have just suffered their 1st Premier League loss since Newcastle away in January. Before that we were on a run of 8 straight league wins.

Aston Villa

Aston Villa currently have a host of injuries. Key players in Darren Bent, Richard Dunne and Fabian Delph will be missing for the rest of the season. Mark Albrighton and Chris Herd are set to miss out. Nathan Delfouneso, Steven Warnock and Ciaran Clark are doubtful and will probably be having late fitness tests.

Likely XI: Given, Hutton, Collins, Cuellar, Lichaj, Ireland, Gardner, Bannan, N’Zogbia, Heskey, Agbonlahor.

Ashley Young in action for Aston VillaAston Villa have not recorded a league victory since March 10th. Since then, Aston Villa have lost 2 and drawn their last 2. Standing in 15th and 6 points ahead of the relegation zone, you would think that Aston Villa are safe in the knowledge that they will be playing Premier League football next season, however they could still mathematically go down.

Head to head’s

This fixture at Old Trafford is another very successful one for Manchester United. It has yielded 8 wins from the last 9 games. With Aston Villa’s current run of bad form, you wouldn’t bet against Manchester United making it 9 wins from the last 10 games vs Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

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By Vikesh Chevli

I blog and tweet Manchester United. Follow me on twitter

8 replies on “Match Preview: Manchester United v Aston Villa”

What happened in Wigan?

Can anybody actually answer that question? From what I saw we lacked creativity, we had no physical presence in midfield and after Rooney was substituted we had no shape or formation that I could recognize. Ryan Giggs looked like he had lived every minute of his 38 years without a rest. Michael Carrick was a shadow of the player he has been in recent months. Young was just awful before being dragged off at half time. One leg Tony really did look like he only had on leg. Phil Jones was apprehensive about going beyond Valencia in the final third. Hernandez was static and clumsy when on the ball. And Rooney was different.

I’m not really sure of what to make of Rooney. He did what he normally does. He tracked back, made space, got on the ball and was generally busy but something was a miss. He just wasn’t right. Maybe an opinion Sir Alex shares because there was no apparent reason to substitute him with a quarter of the game to play.

The substitutions were not exactly inspired but did make a difference. Cleverly came on and did the simple things well. He kept the ball and pressed the opposition. No fireworks but he was certainly effective. Nani added some creativity and made us look like we were capable of at least mounting an attack. And Welbeck did what Welbeck does well. He made space and threatened the Wigan defense. He even managed our only shot on target. But as it goes non of the subs were effective enough.

Maybe Wigan were just the better team. Its perfectly plausible, our league position proves the best team doesn’t always come out on top. Wigan have been playing some good football recently and Roberto Martinez is a decent manager that likes to get his team playing football. But what I really think won the game for Wigan was their attitude to the game on the night. They wanted it more than we did. They kept to their formation and pressed the man on the ball when not in possession. United were kept on their toes and made to work for every kick of the ball.

Although there has been some talk of disaster since the final whistle we wont really know if it was a blip or us finally being “found out” until we play Aston Villa on Sunday. Anything less than a convincing win and the pressure will be well and truly on. After City mauled West Brom and cut our lead to five point were left in a tough position considering we are yet to play them at the Etihad. Going into that game with all to play for is something my nerves couldn’t take. Waiting an entire weekend for a Monday night game of such importance is enough to give me a heart attack.

So the final thing to consider now is do I think we have the bottle to stay on top of the league? There isn’t a better man to oversee it than Sir Alex so id have to say yes. But lets be honest who cares if we win the league its only a game.

I really do hope that we at least look like we will want to win this game right from the start of the game, Nani or Young is a big question for the rest of the season too

[Prediction] Manchester United 1-0 Aston Villa, Rooney to score with his right foot, outside the box, from 23 yards, in the 38th Minute

Great preview! I think we’ll snatch a 1-0 win, with Rooney the goalscorer. People writing off Villa should do so at their peril, can often prove a difficult team to beat and not safe from relegation yet themselves either!

Wigan are just a better team compare to us.they pressed us hard,just like what athletic do to us last season,SAF NEED to make 2-3 major signing if we want to compete for the UCL next season.prediction : MUFC 2 – 0 AVFC with rooney and scholes to score.

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