After securing qualification for the knockout stages of the Champions League, with a fine victory over FC Braga, it`s back to the Premier League this Saturday with a late afternoon clash with Aston Villa, at Villa Park. Having gone top, after our fine win at Stamford Bridge in our last Premier League fixture, United supporters will be hoping that United can take advantage of the poor run of form Villa are experiencing to bring all three points back to Old Trafford.
Aston Villa Team News:
Paul Lambert has several of his first team squad out with injuries. Darren Bent (ankle), Joe Bennett (knee) are both injured. Whilst Eric Lichaj is banned after accumulating five bookings but Paul Lambert is able to call upon Karim El Ahmadi who returns after suspension.
Player to watch: Benteke
A strong striker blessed with natural ability but something of a hit-and-miss player. Let`s hope it is the former against us.
Manchester United Team News:
Sir Alex Ferguson has several players out injured. Shinji Kagawa, Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic are all out whilst Jonny Evans is a doubt with a groin problem. If Evans doesn`t make it we expect fit again Chris Smalling to step in alongside Rio Ferdinand.
Player to watch: Robin van Persie
An absolute bargain, in the summer transfer market, considering what he`s doing for us this season.
Match Facts & Stats
Our record, against Aston Villa, is a formidable one. In the last 33 meetings Villa have only beaten us once and that was back in 2009 by a solitary goal scored by Agbonlahor. The statistics show that United have won
As for trips to Villa Park, United have not lost in the last 16 visits, winning 10 and drawing 6
Taking charge of this fixture will be:-
Referee – Kevin Friend
Assistant – J. Flynn
Assistant – S. Burt
Fourth Official – Mark Halsey
Villa Park used to be a difficult place to go but in recent times it, along with the squad Villa has, doesn`t have that same foreboding feel about it. Paul Lambert might be doing his best to restore the club to past glories but they are a long way off. If United take the right approach then I can see nothing other than a United win and it could be a quite handsome one at that.
Next up for United in the Premier League is a trip to Carrow Road to face Norwich City.