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Premier League

  • 3 December 2011
  • • 17:30
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: L. Probert
  • • Attendance: 40053

Aston Villa - Manchester United Preview: Alex McLeish up against his old Aberdeen boss Sir Alex Ferguson

Aston Villa - Manchester United Preview: Alex McLeish up against his old Aberdeen boss Sir Alex Ferguson

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The two Scots go face-to-face with both needing wins as the home side have recorded just one victory in six matches and the visitors need to keep the pressure on Manchester City



Hutton, Collins, Dunne, Warnock
Petrov, Herd
N’Zogbia, Heskey, Agbonlahor


De Gea
Jones, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra
Nani, Carrick, Fletcher, Young
Rooney, Hernandez

Alex McLeish has a wealth of options to choose from in midfield, with Barry Bannan, Stephen Ireland, Fabian Delph and Jermaine Jenas all pushing for a starting place. However, they are going to struggle to replace Australian Chris Herd who McLeish said was worth "his weight in gold".

The Scot also hopes to have captain Stiliyan Petrov back fit after he missed the 0-0 draw at Swansea.

For United, Anderson is out until February with a knee injury whilst Fabio (hamstring) and Dimitar Berbatov (ankle) both suffered injuries against Crystal Palace and had to come off.

Michael Owen (ankle) and Tom Cleverley (thigh) are both out until the end of the year.

  • Sir Alex Ferguson managed opposite boss Alex McLeish at Aberdeen from 1978-86.
  • Ashley Young plays against his former club for the first time since his move to Old Trafford in the summer. He scored 30 goals in 157 games for the Villans.
  • Manchester United have only conceded three goals away from home, which is the best in the league.
  • They are, alongside Manchester City, the only team not to lose on their travels this season.
  • They have scored in every match they have played in all competitions.
  • Wayne Rooney hasn’t scored in eight league games after scoring nine in his opening five fixtures.
  • Aston Villa have lost nine points from winning positions this season.
  • After starting the season unbeaten in seven games they have now only won one of their last six matches – a 3-2 home win against Norwich.
  • Villa have 32 wins at home compared to United’s 25, with 21 being drawn in this fixture.
  • But they have not beaten United at Villa Park in the league since 1995 – 16 matches ago.
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Players to watch

E. Heskey

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
A much maligned figure, Heskey has shown his worth to McLeish with his performances at Villa Park this season. With no set position, the striker has been free to hassle defenders and track back to support the defence.

With Darren Bent and Gabriel Agbonlahor likely to be tightly marked, he will have a big role to play on both sides of the pitch.

A. Young

Position: Midfielder

Games: 4

  • 0
  • 2
  • 0
Back at his old stomping ground, Young will most likely be deployed against the adventurous Alan Hutton on United’s left.

Not one to shirk a big match, he will fancy his chances against the Scot who is not as confident in defence as he is marauding forward, and there could be space on the counter to exploit should he be caught up field.

Editor's Prediction

There should be lots of creative players on show, but with neither manager likely to go too gung-ho, it is all set up for another classic clean sheet win for United away from home.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Aston Villa

Manchester United


Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
Aston Villa FC Aston Villa
Manchester United FC MUN
Manchester United FC Manchester United

Top 3 Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
0 - 2
Manchester United FC MUN
Aston Villa FC AST
1 - 2
Manchester United FC MUN
Aston Villa FC AST
1 - 3
Manchester United FC MUN