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Manchester United vs Aston Villa: Preview

Betfair is the official Manchester United betting partner and we here at Red Rants have partnered with them to offer a free £25 bet when you register. Unlike other betting sites, Betfair allows you to place bets when the game is running and choose the odds at which you want to play. What allows you to do these things is you’re betting against other fans, not the bookie, so if you want better odds than are currently available, for example, you can place an order for a better price (but bear in mind that if your price is unrealistic your bet is unlikely to be accepted). So, give this a run if you’re up for it.

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It’s that time again, when the Premier League comes to the forefront of our minds and fresh from a thumping victory in Germany confidence will surely be high as Aston Villa visit Old Trafford on Saturday evening.

Remember August 1995 when one Alan Hansen famously said ‘you win nothing with kids’? Well… the opponents of Manchester United that day were Aston Villa, they won that tie 3-1 prompting the aforementioned comments, but since then, United they have gone 27 league games unbeaten in this fixture, and won 12 of the last 13 against Villa. Villa’s record is worse when you consider in all 34 Premier League clashes they have amassed just two wins and their last victory at Old Trafford was back in November 1983.

However, as many of you are aware this United squad is currently undergoing a major injury crisis.

In goal will be Tomasz Kuszczak, Edwin van der Sar is still recovering from a knee injury and Ben Foster’s confidence issues mean he will be the P.I.G’s back up.

The defence, the biggest problem for Sir Alex Ferguson, out are Jonny Evans, Rio Ferdinand, Fabio, Gary Neville, John O’Shea, Wes Brown and Rafael. Expect Darren Fletcher to retain his right-back berth, Patrice Evra will also continue on the left side. Some good news in the form of the big Serbian, Nemanja Vidic who has recovered from flu, should return to the heart of the back four, partnered by midfield maestro, Michael Carrick who seems to be making the centre back position his own. Confirmed by Sir Alex in his press conference,

“Michael will continue in the centre alongside Vida and Darren will play at right-back. We’re certainly encouraged by the fact that players like Michael and Darren can adapt to playing in different positions and help us cope with the current situation.”

Considering the midfield moves to the backline, a fairly settled midfield should continue, thought Paul Scholes is serving a one-match ban. Welsh Sports Personality of the Year, Ryan Giggs was rested for the trip to Wolfsburg so he should return to the line up, alongside him will be on-form Darron Gibson, Anderson and Antonio Valencia. Nani, given a rare first-team outing on Wednesday will more than likely drop to the bench, along with Ji-Sung Park who is not yet match fit.

Some cause for optimism in the final third however, Wayne Rooney has recovered from a Hamstring strain and Dimitar Berbatov from a knee problem, add this to Michael Owen’s hat-trick on Wednesday and Sir Alex Ferguson has a welcome selection headache. Owen should have done enough to earn a start, probably alongside Rooney.

Aston Villa manager, Martin O’Neill will be looking to end the barren run Villa have had at Old Trafford and to do so he has a full squad to choose from. So expect an unchanged side from the one that trounced Hull 3-0 last weekend.

Going forward Villa are a potent threat especially on the counter attack, they possess great pace in Ashley Young, James Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor. Stewart Downing has added himself to the array of attacking talents and shifting Milner to a centre midfield spot in the process.

O’Neill is also in a positive frame of mind,

“We are buoyant. We are in fine form and we are well aware of what we are up against, in terms of the difficulty of the task and our recent history. The club doesn’t have a great record against United but we are unbeaten against sides in the top four and those hoping to get into the Champions League this season. I’m not getting overly excited by the talk of a defensive crisis,” he said. “To my mind, Nemanja Vidic will play and so will Patrice Evra. Michael Carrick may have played at the back in midweek, but they still went to Wolfsburg and won.”

Losing only once in the last thirty-one home matches, a victory seems certain, but beware Aston Villa have the highest goals from corners record in the League with eight and have scored in each of their last 14 Premier League matches.

Prediction: 3-1 United

Probable Line Up: Kuszczak; Fletcher, Carrick, Vidic, Evra; Giggs, Gibson, Anderson, Valencia; Owen, Rooney

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Betfair is the official Manchester United betting partner and we here at RR have partnered with them to offer a free £25 bet when you register. Unlike other betting sites, Betfair allows you to place bets when the game is running and choose the odds at which you want to play. What allows you to do these things is you’re betting against other fans, not the bookie, so if you want better odds than are currently available, for example, you can place an order for a better price (but bear in mind that if your price is unrealistic your bet is unlikely to be accepted). So, give this a run if you’re up for it.

258 Comments

258 Comments

  1. CraigMc

    13 December 2009 at 19:28

    @Stephen: Nani hasn’t played at all most of this season mate – so you can’t compare. When Nani did play in the CL games HE MADE the assists that won us the couple of games he played in, just like he made the assist that got us the breakthrough goal in his last game. To be honest though, United fans are not ALWAYS ramming it down peoples throats like they do about ROONEY on what a world class player he is, or how is is 1st rate etc etc etc. A lot of Rooneys goals are from penalties, or very easy tap ins like the one at West ham, and then when we were several goals up. So please get off your high horse in trying to bring the Nani arguement up, because NANI unlike Rooney is not paid MILLIONS to LEAD THE LINE, and supposedly SAVE United all by his fucking self. You cannot even compare the 2 players – so WTF are you going on about mate. You can’t use Nani to support your arguement for Rooney’s all too frequent SHITE performances!

  2. Stephen

    13 December 2009 at 19:36

    @CraigMc: Rooney is a superb player mate and many believe it, Nani is not on the peanuts mate and 12 goals this season is bloody good considering he is not a natural player to lead the line, what has Nani been a consistant since he has been here?? of course he hasn’t and you keep ramming how good Nani is and I like many others do not see it, I am not on a high horse all I am saying you keep digging at Rooney and then give very aggressive as you are now when anyone says one syes anyhing about Nani.

  3. CraigMc

    13 December 2009 at 19:42

    @Grognard: Bro I agree with you in all but one point of your post comments, and that point is that we have a bunch of 9-5ers WHO WORK THEIR ARSES OFF. Do you really believe that most of our players WORKED their arses off in the game yesterday, because I didn’t see any real charge or endeavour, just a bunch of blokes playing out a game. Surely I am not the only one seeing this. We can’t just keep relying on trying to give all out PANIC endeavour in the last 10 minutes of games, and hope for Refs extended time!

  4. CraigMc

    13 December 2009 at 19:49

    @Stephen: You are still missing the point mate. I have never said that Nani is a world class or top rate player, except when joking around with Grog and Red Rich. You Rooney fans keep pontificating how fucking great he is, and yet in the big games that really matter against the very top teams, and in CL finals Rooney falls short and always will do mate. Nani doesn’t get to play in those games, and I have said that he should get the fuck out of OT, because he isn’t valued AT ALL. His assists and goal got Portugal to the world cup, but this is not about Nani, because he is not a main striker and Rooney is. Like I said – Rooney upped his goal tally by penalties and easy goals from close in. If you don’t like that I don’t appreciate Rooney – tought titties Bro, because he is not in my eyes as great as you make him out to be. But time will tell, maybe he will prove me wrong, but until then he needs to put up or shut up.

  5. Stephen

    13 December 2009 at 19:54

    @CraigMc: He played as a left sided midfield player in the Champions League final mate not his position, but in the previous final he was poor I suppose we will see how good he is in the World Cup but he is United through and through and would not swap a player who gives everyhing for the team regardless if his game suffers for anyone.
    Nani has played 80 odd games mate and maybe you see something in the lad I don’t like many do with Anderson who I think is shite but time will tell and will support all of them while they wear the shirt.

  6. CraigMc

    13 December 2009 at 20:06

    Stephen I am not saying Nani is a Ronaldo mate. But I know this IF Nani had not made the assists for our early away games in CL, which we won late with 1-0’s, then we may well BE OUT of the CL already. You know I want Nani out of OT, so that he can have a chance of going to the world cup – he deserves it for his contribution to the Portugal cause in Ronnie’s ansence thru injury. He is never going to be made to feel a part of the United set up, his face doesn’t fit. I saw the Portugal games, and the lad played with all his heart for them, and it payed off. He is not happy at United, being pulled about from pillow to post. But players like Rooney and Berba who play all the fucking time mate, regardless of the shit performances, or little contribution they put in, just grates on me. But Stephen, if folk want to give it to Nani which they do all the time, I don’t care too much anymore, I just joke a lot of the time with a few friends on the blog, and they tease back. We are just messing. But I am not messing about Rooney, and if he keeps up the below par performances, and giving up possession, not being able to make simple passes, or control the ball without letting it run away from him, and yet is still EXALTED as world class, and top rate etc, then I for one will keep HIGHLIGHTING his deficiences, and give it to him when those said deficiences hinder our team play as they did yesterday.

  7. Stephen

    13 December 2009 at 20:16

    @CraigMc: I personally don’t give a shit about Portugal mate and support my club before any player or foreign country, Rooney is our talisman and future captain and he gives everything but was poor yeaterday.
    Nani has been given a chance but not on a consistant basis I do agree there and he has knocked the odd good cross in but then to say you cannot give Wazza credit for scoring is unfair because the goals are easy it swings both ways. Nani he is so frustrating shoots when he should cross and vice versa, but as I say I will support him but I do feel is days are numbered and it probably the best for both parties.

  8. Grognard

    13 December 2009 at 22:44

    @CraigMc: I do honestly feel they work their asses off to compensate for their lack of truly gifted talent. It doesn’t look like it sometimes because of the tactical style they are forced to play within which is slow and boring and which makes them look like they aren’t working hard. They work hard but they also have lapses in concentration defensively which counteracts all their hard work. The work ethic is there. What isn’t their is the raw talent and the tactical style that will force and exploit opponents to to their knees.

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