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Premier League

  • November 10, 2012
  • • 17:30
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: K. Friend
  • • Attendance: 40538
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Aston Villa - Manchester United Preview: Villans look to end 17-year wait for home win over Red Devils

Aston Villa - Manchester United Preview: Villans look to end 17-year wait for home win over Red Devils

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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

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

ASTON VILLA

Guzan
Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens
Weimann, Delph, El Ahmadi, Bannan

Benteke, Agbonlahor

MANCHESTER UNITED

De Gea
Rafael, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra

Carrick, Cleverley
Valencia, Rooney, Young
Van Persie

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 are 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 have only won three of their 40 matches against Manchester United since the Premier League began.
  • Their 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 have had fewer shots on target than Aston Villa this season, with the Villans hitting the target just 3.3 times per match.
  • Villa have been shown 24 yellow cards this season – the joint worst offenders in the league - and have seen red twice.
  • Manchester United have 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’s side have 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.

Players to watch

R. Vlaar

Position: Defender

Games: 3

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Having already been entrusted with the captaincy despite only arriving in the summer, Ron Vlaar has quickly shown his ability in claret and blue. Under his leadership, Aston Villa’s young, inexperienced back-line have conceded just 14 goals (only six more than Arsenal - statistically the league’s best defence). The former Feyenoord centre-back is a commanding, vocal presence at the back and will need to be at his best to prevent a slick, prolific Manchester United attack.

A. Young

Position: Midfielder

Games: 3

  • 0
  • 2
  • 0
Since returning from injury, Young has been thrust into the starting line-up by Sir Alex Ferguson. The former Aston Villa winger brings much-needed balance to the Manchester United midfield, which was apparent in their wins over Chelsea and Arsenal. He’s looked increasingly threatening too; his direct running, accurate delivery and a fearsome ability to cut inside and shoot could be too much for Matthew Lowton at right-back.

Editor's Prediction

This is a fixture Aston Villa rarely prosper in, having won just one match out of their last 33 against Manchester United. The Red Devils have been in fine form recently, seemingly scoring goals for fun through Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, while Villa have struggled to marry attack and defence.

The United offence should have too much quality for the home side and Sir Alex Ferguson has plenty of options off the bench should he need them, unlike Paul Lambert and his young, threadbare team.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Aston Villa

Manchester United

Wins
0
0
5
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
Aston Villa FC Aston Villa
Draw
Manchester United FC MNU
Manchester United FC Manchester United
84%

Top 3 Predictions

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

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