After the lack of drama at Eastlands on Wednesday night, United supporters will be hoping that the side can put on a decent performance when they travel to Villa Park this Saturday.
The result, on Wednesday night, saw United concede ground to Chelsea with the gap between the two sides increasing from two points to four points. With Chelsea playing on Sunday afternoon, at home to Sunderland, Sir Alex Ferguson will be hoping that there are no further slip ups and that the gap can be decreased to a single point, by winning at Villa, before Chelsea play on Sunday.
The injury situation at both clubs has created some debate.
Already today we`ve run an article whereby United will quite possibly be deprived of eight of their first team squad but Villa are going better having a possible nine players missing.
But their new manager, Gerrard Houllier, remains optimistic that his side can get a positive result, remarking,
“We have played without Carew, played without Heskey and a number of injuries in midfield. We have horrendous injuries but we will cope.”
Aston Villa Team News:
As mentioned in our quotes section, Aston Villa enter this fixture with serious injury problems.
Gerrard Houllier will be without Carew, Cuellar, Delph, Heskey, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Sidwell, Weimann and possibly Beye.
Player to watch: Ashley Young
Admired by many although, to his credit, he has pledged his immediate future to Aston Villa. United will have to watch his pace and ability to drift across the front three and play in any forward position!
United Team News:
Despite suggesting to the contrary, the United side that started against Manchester City did contain several players that had shaken off the virus that had swept through the training ground.
But Sir Alex, already without Valencia, will be hoping that Patrice Evra will be fit for contention after the French full back hobbled off against Manchester City.
Owen Hargreaves, after his five minute comeback appearance remains on the sidelines as does Michael Owen.
Definitely out will be Paul Scholes with the midfielder serving a suspension after picking up a fifth yellow card of the season in the midweek Manchester derby.
As for the mega-rich, mega-earning, globe-trotting Wayne Rooney, your guess is as good as mine.
Player to watch: Darren Fletcher
In the absence of Paul Scholes, Daren will be a key operative in our midfield and Sir Alex will be looking for the Scotsman to force the pace in what could be a close encounter.
Match Facts & Stats
The record books favour us big-time in this fixture with Aston Villa having only won once in the last twenty-seven games between the two clubs but that victory came at Old Trafford last season.
In league games only the statistics stand as follows for the last 29 meetings, with United winning 20, drawing 8 and losing 1.
The officials are as follows – Referee – Mike Dean, Assistants – Simon Beck and Simon Long, Fourth Official – Martin Atkinson.
After the drab 0-0 draw with Manchester City, on Wednesday night, we’re hoping that this fixture will be more entertaining. Especially with us tipping United to win 2-0!
In the Premier League our next fixture will be against Wigan Athletic, at Old Trafford.