Premier League Preview: Aston Villa - Manchester United
The Red Devils travel to Birmingham having not lost in 17 previous visits, but Paul Lambert's men will be buoyed by a win over Sunderland in their previous league outing.
By Ewan Roberts
Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens
Weimann, Delph, El Ahmadi, Bannan
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra
Valencia, Rooney, Young
Paul Lambert is sweating on the fitness of Darren Bent (ankle), while Charles N’Zogbia (knee) and Richard Dunne (groin) remain sidelined.
Joe Bennett (knee) was forced off against Sunderland, while his replacement, Eric Lichaj, is suspended. With Chris Herd (knee) and Nathan Baker (ankle/foot) doubtful, Enda Stevens could make a first Premier League start at left back with Karim El Ahmadi available again after suspension.
Manchester United is still without Nemanja Vidic (knee), who could be out until Christmas, Phil Jones (knee) and Shinji Kagawa (knee). Chris Smalling returned from injury against Braga on Wednesday night and could start if Jonny Evans does not recovery from a slight groin problem.
Sir Alex Ferguson rested Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverley and Ashley Young for the trip to Portugal, with Robin van Persie, Rio Ferdinand and Rafael coming off the bench, but all should start on Saturday.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Aston Villa has only won three of its 40 matches against Manchester United since the Premier League began.
- Its only league win over Sir Alex Ferguson’s side in the last 17 years came in 2009, a 1-0 win secured by Gabriel Agbonlahor (pictured right).
- Only Sunderland has had fewer shots on target than Aston Villa this season, with the Villans hitting the target just 3.3 times per match.
- Villa has been shown 24 yellow cards this season – the joint worst offender in the league - and has seen red twice.
- Manchester United has scored more goals than any other side in the league this season (26), while Villa have netted just eight times.
- But the Red Devils have kept just two clean sheets this year, as many as their opponents today.
- Sir Alex Ferguson’s side has not lost at Villa Park in the league since 1995 – 17 matches ago.
- Robin van Persie leads the Premier League’s scoring charts with eight goals from eight starts, plus three assists.
Top 3 Predictions
Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester United
- 22.42 %
Aston Villa 1-3 Manchester United
- 16.22 %
Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United
- 8.48 %
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Apr 22, 2013||Manchester United 3 - Aston Villa 0|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Nov 10, 2012||Aston Villa 2 - Manchester United 3|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Apr 15, 2012||Manchester United 4 - Aston Villa 0|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Dec 3, 2011||Aston Villa 0 - Manchester United 1|
|English Premier League (EPL) (EPL)||Feb 1, 2011||Manchester United 3 - Aston Villa 1|
|Dec 8, 2013||Fulham 2 - Aston Villa 0||EPL|
|Dec 4, 2013||Southampton 2 - Aston Villa 3||EPL|
|Nov 30, 2013||Aston Villa 0 - Sunderland 0||EPL|
|Nov 25, 2013||West Bromwich 2 - Aston Villa 2||EPL|
|Nov 9, 2013||Aston Villa 2 - Cardiff City 0||EPL|
|8||Karim El Ahmadi||Midfielder|
|21||Jordan Nathaniel Bowery||Striker|
|1||David de Gea||Goalkeeper|
|20||Robin van Persie||Striker|