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Match Preview

No easy games: Villa vs United match preview

angel-di-mariaAfter United breezed past one mid-table side last weekend with relative ease, fans hope this weekend will be just as formulaic. It is likely that Aston Villa will provide a sterner test than the side that arrived at Old Trafford a week ago, who were what can only be described as a real poverty team.

Although performances haven’t been spectacular, they haven’t needed to be. This would usually be the time the ever insightful pundit Andy Townsend would roll out the cliché, if you can’t be good, be lucky.

In reality United have been good and that’s why they’ve been lucky. A closer look into United’s ‘fortune’ will see the fundamentals that are consistent in all of these performances. An excellent goalkeeper and an excellent set of strikers.

United currently seem to be proving there doesn’t need to be anything in between, which is fortunate because with the squad being decimated with injuries, there hasn’t been a choice.

The injury situation is relenting and a fully fit United side is a daunting prospect. Soon an unsuspecting Premier League team is likely to feel the full force.

Meanwhile, United return to a ground that has been a happy place for them over the years, where they’ve won six of their last Premier League games and where the away end is always a sight of behold even after it has, for reasons clear only to Villa, been moved from behind one of the goals to the side of the pitch.

United gathering momentum, a 3pm kick off and a top away end five days before Christmas. We could be in for some fun.

Manchester United Team News

The big news is that Angel Di Maria is back in training with the team and could play some role in tomorrow’s fixture, though it is likely it will be from the bench. Rafael is rumoured to be fit again, but Antonio Valencia has stated a real claim for a first team place, so the Brazilian could struggle to displace him.

Radamel Falcao looked sharp last weekend when he came on against Liverpool so there’s a chance fans might see the terrifying potential front line of Wayne Rooney, Robin Van Persie and Falcao for the first time since the defeat against Leicester.

Unfortunately Maroune Fellaini has been ruled out because of illness, irritatingly during a period where the Belgian has proved very useful.

Aston Villa Team News

Villa are missing eight players for tomorrow’s fixture. Alan Hutton and Kieran Richardson are injured, while Tom Cleverley is ineligible – and probably still terrified after meeting Roy Keane.

Newly capped England midfielder Fabian Delph will return from injury and Ron Vlaar could also be back in defence for Villa.

Key Men 

With the physical nature of Villa and it being an away tie the main battle will be fought in midfield. With United’s hard man Fellaini off sick it will be up to Ander Herrera and Michael Carrick to provide the steel and determination to hold the ball and use it effectively.

Both have been excellent of recent weeks, the latter would have been United’s best player if it were not for the supernatural powers of the Spaniard between the sticks.

Line Up

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William Dawson