Manchester United play Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Sunday looking to recover from their loss in midweek and also extend their lead again at the top of the table.
The Reds lost their 12 game unbeaten streak strangely away at Wigan, a team they had such an excellent record against. Also, rivals City cut the 5 point gap to 2, after a crushing win at Norwich, which puts the pressure on the Champions to recover against Villa on Sunday afternoon.
Aston Villa haven’t exactly been in the greatest of form, because similarly to United they have been extremely unlucky with injuries. They lost key players Darren Bent and Richard Dunne to injuries and also lost captain Stiliyan Petrov to a battle with leukaemia. They have drawn their last two games, claiming a point at Anfield a fortnight ago and then struggling to a point against Stoke at home.
Man Utd expect to welcome back veteran Paul Scholes and right back Rafael for the game after both were rested during the midweek defeat. Danny Welbeck and Nani are in contention to start after both started on the bench against Wigan. Darren Fletcher, Nemanja Vidic, Anders Lindegaard and Michael Owen are still out.
Aston Villa have struggled with injuries this season, and their crisis doesn’t seem to ease with Darren Bent, Stephen Warnock, Richard Dunne, Chris Herd and Marc Albrighton. Stiliyan Petrov is taking an indefinite break from football after being diagnosed with leukaemia.
“It’s always strange when I play against United. When I was in Manchester City’s youth team, I got extra nervous before playing against them and I still do even now.” – Stephen Ireland.
The last time these two met this season was at Villa Park, with the game ending 0-1 to United thanks to a first senior goal from summer signing Phil Jones. The 0-1 win was United’s 4th in 5 games at the time but the game was mostly overshadowed to a bad pitch, which bizarrely injured Shay Given, Javier Hernandez and Jermaine Jenas.
Man Utd: De Gea, Rafael, Evans, Ferdinand, Evra, Valencia, Scholes, Cleverley, Nani, Rooney, Welbeck.
Aston Villa: Given, Hutton, Collins, Baker, Cuellar, Ireland, Bannan, Gardner, N’Zogbia, Agbonlahor, and Weimann.
Thanks for reading and take care.
Written by Yusuf Khan
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