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Manchester United Fixtures

Will United Be Victorious at Villa?

Wednesday’s Carling Cup defeat to Crystal Palace was both embarrassing and disappointing for Manchester United, as even with an under-strength side, United were expected to take care of business at home against the Championship side. But with a couple of exceptions, that under-strength side put in a poor performance, and credit to Palace, they came in with no fear, maintained that attitude for the 120 minutes, and fully deserved their reward.

But at the end of the day, there are bigger fish to fry for United, which is no disrespect to Palace, their win, or to the Carling Cup. Wednesday will see United take on FC Basel with their Champions League lives on the line, but before that crucial match in Switzerland, United are in the Midlands today, seeking an important three points at Aston Villa.

RECENT HISTORY

Last season, United took four of six points in their two league meetings with Villa, drawing 2-2 at Villa Park and winning 3-1 at home.

The away clash was goalless until a frantic and memorable final 20 minutes. Villa scored twice in five minutes to take a 2-0 lead with less than 15 minutes remaining, but United didn’t fold, and goals from Federico Macheda and Nemanja Vidic inside the final 10 minutes earned United a dramatic draw.

At Old Trafford, United had an easier time of it. Wayne Rooney scored twice in the first half to put United up 2-0 at the break, and Vidic put the result beyond doubt shortly after Darren Bent had pulled one back for Villa.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Aston Villa

1. Villa sit 8th in the Premier League table coming into today, with 16 points from 13 matches.

Alex McLeish’s side leads the league in draws with seven and has only three wins thus far this season, with all three wins coming in their six home games.

Part of the reason for the high number of draws has been an inability to hold on from winning positions. Three times this season, Villa have had a second-half lead and went on to draw.

2. Darren Bent and Gabriel Agbonlahor are Aston Villa’s leading scorers with five goals apiece. Agbonlahor is also Villa’s leader in assists, with six.

However, Villa have struggled to score consistently this season, and overall, they have scored as many goals as they have points this season. Behind Bent and Agbonlahor, the next highest scorer is Stiliyan Petrov, who has two goals.

3. Villa haven’t gotten the contribution they might have expected from Charles N’Zogbia. Last season, N’Zogbia was brilliant for Wigan, but he hasn’t yet come close to repaying the £9.5m that Villa spent on him this past summer. In 12 games, N’Zogbia doesn’t have a single goal, and he has only one assist. He will be one to watch today though, because he could have that breakout performance at any time.

Manchester United

1. United haven’t lost a league match at Villa since a 3-1 defeat in August 1995. Since that time, United are 21-9-1 in the league against Villa, with the lone Villa win being their 1-0 win at Old Trafford in December 2009.

2. The man who’ll be the target of the most flashbulbs today will be Ashley Young, who will be making his return to Villa Park, where he starred for the last four-plus seasons before moving to United this past summer.

Young has been relatively quiet since making a flying start to his United career, so returning to his former stomping grounds could ignite a return to the form we saw early on.

3. A fine game for Young would be of great benefit to United, that’s for sure. United had no shortage of opportunities against Benfica and Newcastle, but many went by the wayside due to a poor delivery or attempt on goal. Create that many chances today and do a better job of making the most of them, and it’ll be a good day.

PREDICTION

I haven’t been spot on with these lately, so…I’m not going to make one today.

58 Comments

58 Comments

  1. redpenguin

    3 December 2011 at 16:35

    Big performance required today!
    Any decent streams available out there

  2. Eddie Griffin

    3 December 2011 at 16:42

    Go to wiziwig.tv or firstrowsports.tv, and you’ll be able to find one pretty easily. : )

    And I agree, big performance is definitely a must today. City are 3-0 up against Norwich and Spurs are 3-0 up against Bolton, so we need a win…quality performance on top of that would be ideal, as it’d make for nice momentum ahead of next Wednesday.

  3. Moscow is my heaven

    3 December 2011 at 16:47

    We need a gamechanging performance by Rooney, he is our talisman and key weapon. I hope he doesn’t lose himself in limbo between attack and midfield as he often has the past few months. Leave the passing to Carrick, RUN towards the Villa defence, play direct Wazza!

  4. Owen

    3 December 2011 at 16:51

    This Shitty team i fear is as good as any other team on planet 👿

    • Eddie Griffin

      3 December 2011 at 16:58

      Not worried.

    • Craig Mc

      3 December 2011 at 19:57

      Yeah we all know you’ve moved over to watching the Man shitty Owen – a lot of fairweather fans will!

  5. Owen

    3 December 2011 at 16:58

    Anders Lindegaard starts in goal for Manchester United at Aston Villa, while Danny Welbeck makes his return from injury on the bench.

  6. Owen

    3 December 2011 at 17:09

    Jones,Carrick in midfield with Nani,Young on wings.Rooney,Chicha upfront

  7. Craig Mc

    3 December 2011 at 17:23

    Oh dear 🙄

    • Eddie Griffin

      3 December 2011 at 17:25

      Oh dear?

      • Andrei

        3 December 2011 at 17:45

        Chicharito is down… Oh dear indeed 🙁

        • Eddie Griffin

          3 December 2011 at 17:48

          If we get him back soon, I will be surprised…

          And if he’s out for a while, I hope we buy in January with the present and future in mind, not let Macheda or Diouf stick around…Wednesday night did it for me with those two.

      • Craig Mc

        3 December 2011 at 18:42

        O dear Young and Valencia who cannot perform AWAY from home are playing today in an AWAY game.

        What is wrong with the Villa pitch – that players are struggling to avoid injuries or going down down down? Have our lot got the wrong footwear>

  8. Ian

    3 December 2011 at 17:27

    £250 says United win this game to nil.

    Potential Profit = £450

    It’s guts or fooking glory for xmas!

  9. Ian

    3 December 2011 at 17:47

    Nani looks UP for this 😀

    • Craig Mc

      4 December 2011 at 01:09

      Fergie said in post game interviews that he thought Nani played really well in that roaming MF role he gave him when the subs came on. Says he will use him in that free role again!

  10. Eddie Griffin

    3 December 2011 at 17:55

    JONESY! Great cross from your boy Craig. Set it up on a plate for Jonesy to make a fine finish. Fantastic!

    • Craig Mc

      3 December 2011 at 18:36

      Yeah good assist – but fook me we have had 90% possession and Nani’s assist is the only thing we have created 🙄 . Rooney still thinks he is playing in MF – did anybody see him in the box? Did anybody see anybody in the box apart from corners and Jones in for his goal. I still say that we play like zombies with no sense of urgency. Guys I don’t like being negative all the time but other top teams with this kind of possession would have scored multiple goals by now. Watch Villa come out all fight, and if they manage to equalise – well you will see the goal rush from United when it is maybe too late. Hope Fergie tells them to up pace and put the ball in the net or get fookin transferred. 😆 😆 😆 😆

      • Ian

        3 December 2011 at 18:44

        and if they manage to equalise

        ….you’ll fookin hear me from wherever you are!

      • Andrei

        3 December 2011 at 19:06

        Yeah that’s the problem with United approach to put just enough effort to get 1-0 wins. It is inviting bad luck be it a wrong referee call, unlucky deflection or one time wonder strike. The likes of Villa should be dealt with early on and in the harshest possible way.

  11. Ian

    3 December 2011 at 18:07

    If Bent goes off here I’m buzzin!!! lol

    • Ian

      3 December 2011 at 18:09

      bollocks! 😆

  12. Ian

    3 December 2011 at 19:01

    Come on now United….No slip ups please.

  13. Ian

    3 December 2011 at 19:31

    Xmas paid for 😀

    One scary moment with the Heskey header but other than that pretty comfortable….thankfully! 😆

    • [OPTI]Madschester United

      3 December 2011 at 19:33

      Merry Gambling Xmas 😀

    • Craig Mc

      3 December 2011 at 19:43

      Rimmers were you watching the same game as me mate? I was watching the game on spanish tv channel and was thoroughly entertained as they don’t hold back. When wazza was dashing forward and Welbeck was scuttling down the wing, the spanish commentators were shouting full throttle – Pass to Welbeck, Pass to Welbeck, Pass to Welbeck and then too late, too late, too late, and then as I said they don’t hold back and said the equivelant that if Rooney had any kind of footballing brain United would be 3-0 up and coasting. Says it all really. Who thinks our strikers should have to pay large fines weekly until they do their job and put the fookin ball in the net – because they gat money for old rope. Why does Fergie not kick their arses for making the same mistake game, after game, after fookin game – trying to hold off an all our barrage when they sit on one goal lead. Why did Fergie take Ferdinand off when our defence was magic? Lindegaard I fookin love you mate – you are all balls and passion. Jones so glad you got your 1st goal – now go on son and get some more, because you can be sure our strikers won’t be getting goals anytime soon now that goal machine Chicharito is out for who knows how long with ankle injury!

      • Ian

        3 December 2011 at 20:12

        I take it you’re following me (@Red_Rants) on Twitter then?

        It was obvious, Rooney wanted to go for it himself, but as the chance didn’t materialise like he envisaged, he dithered and it cost two players (left Welbeck and right not sure) the chance to kill the game off. It’s selfish decisions like that that make my blood boil. It’s hard getting kids to think like that yet it’s the most effective way to play, Rooney shouldn’t be banking the wages he is if he can’t make the simplest of decisions right.

        • Craig Mc

          4 December 2011 at 01:02

          Right, but that goes for all our players surely 😀

        • Craig Mc

          4 December 2011 at 01:04

          Nah mate – I am not and never will be a twitterer, a reader or follower of twitter – SOZ! 🙂

        • Ian

          4 December 2011 at 12:12

          So how did you know I’d been ranting about the Rooney delayed pass to Welbeck?

    • Craig Mc

      3 December 2011 at 19:52

      You winning Jammy GIT! 😆

      • Ian

        3 December 2011 at 20:14

        Thanks, I was nervous though and wouldn’t recommend it

        😈

  14. Owen

    3 December 2011 at 20:05

    Vidic is simply the best player in Premier League.

  15. RedDevilEddy

    3 December 2011 at 20:18

    Except for the goalkeepers, Nani and Jones remain the only players in our squad to not have been injured for at least some part of the season so far.

    And it’s only fucking december.

    What the fuck is going on!?? 😕 😯

    • Ian

      3 December 2011 at 20:19

      Jones was injured three weeks ago wasn’t he? No?

    • Ian

      3 December 2011 at 20:19

      Or was he suspended?

      • RedDevilEddy

        3 December 2011 at 20:21

        He’s played all of our games so far this season, except for Crystal Palace and Newcastle last week. Don’t think he was out three weeks ago?

        • Ian

          3 December 2011 at 20:23

          Probably not then, he just sprung to mind we missed him a few weeks ago. Don’t worry, it’ll be me and my old memory letting me down.

        • RedDevilEddy

          3 December 2011 at 20:36

          Enjoy your money mate! 😀

    • RedDevilEddy

      3 December 2011 at 20:20

      At the same time City have only had Nasri and Do Jong injured this season, other than that I’ve heard nothing. Oh and of course Hargreaves, but can you count him? 😆 It’s strange, what are our medical team doing?

    • Owen

      3 December 2011 at 20:24

      Can you answer which United player is out for longer period than anyone.Correct answer,a gift from me.

      • RedDevilEddy

        3 December 2011 at 20:36

        Cleverley: Out until Christmas
        Owen: Out until Christmas
        Anderson: Out until February
        Chicharito: Not certain yet, but should be out until January
        Rafael and Fabio: Should be back in two weeks
        Berbatov: Think he’ll travel to Basel, but doubt he’ll play until Wolves next weekend

        That’s our current injury list. Then we’ve had Young out for a month, Smalling out for 2 weeks, Valencia missed the whole summer, Chicharito the same… Welbeck has missed 1 month there and 1 month here, so 2 months altogether. Carrick out until November, Fletch until mid-September, Wazza has gotten his knocks here and there, Vidic out for 2 months and Rio for 1.

        Seriously, the fuck is up?!

  16. RedDevilEddy

    3 December 2011 at 20:46

    We need better coaching for central movement.

  17. Moscow is my heaven

    3 December 2011 at 21:04

    For a change, I’m not going to slag off the team, nor am I going to make sarcastic remarks about the performance. I’m just glad that we have the 3 points. On the back of the draw against Newcastle and the humiliating loss to Palace, this is a massive result for us. People might think City is the dog’s bollocks right now, but we are still there, lurking in the shadows. If we stay hidden but in touching distance, City will eventually slip up and our time will come.

    We will win the league. It won’t be great viewing.

    • RedDevilEddy

      3 December 2011 at 21:12

      It will when we lift the trophy!! 😀

      By the way, anyone seen Etihad today? Empty as fuck. Looks of Serie A all over…

      • Ian

        3 December 2011 at 22:15

        Eddy, don’t get me started man.

        I was in my car on my way back from placing a rather large bet at the bookies when I cheered a goal at the Etihad on the radio. Little did I know I’d just cheered Citeh’s 2nd goal! 🙁

        Reason: It honestly sounded like muted celebrations when they cut to the stadium so I presumed Norwich had got an equaliser. Wrong! Gutted!

        Not as gutted as I was when my missus starts giving me dogs abuse about being a City fan! GGGGRRRRR!! Fookin women!!

        If those small time wankers had filled the stadium that would never have happened and I wouldn’t have had to bury my dead missus under the patio!! :-O

      • Craig Mc

        4 December 2011 at 01:14

        Eddi you mean they didn’t have a full house to watch them play against Norwich – is that what you are saying????

        • RedDevilEddy

          4 December 2011 at 11:43

          Didn’t even have a half house….

        • Craig Mc

          4 December 2011 at 14:27

          But by all reports the Wastelanders are supposed to be getting full house crowds EVERY GAME. Is that a myth then?

  18. RedDevilEddy

    3 December 2011 at 21:16

    I loved that goal by Jonesy. A true Manchester United goal. Want to see more of it! 😀

    • Ian

      3 December 2011 at 22:20

      tbf mate, he didn’t have to work very hard for it. Yes he got himself in the box but he wasn’t picked up or marked. He wouldn’t have had the chance against decent opposition. Or to rephrase that, he would’ve had to work a lot harder against most other teams.

      I hope Villa get relegated after that performance, at least the newly promoted championship teams nowadays are having a go, those wankers today were a disgrace.

  19. ash is the man

    3 December 2011 at 21:25

    Just watched the highlights of spurs game today, I am truly in awe with how they play ( im sure modric is happy he didnt go to chelsea )
    spurs just play to attack its so beautiful and that comes from harry having balls, its such stark contrast to us. Defoe and addy were immense with their partnership today, and in total they have a fabulous team

  20. colver

    4 December 2011 at 01:35

    I have no problem with 1-0 wins away from home. We’ve lost a lot of firepower as none of our strikers seem to be on a hot streak and now Hernandez is injured. And we have absolutely no attacking threat in central midfield with Cleverley out, while Young is looking more ordinary with every game that passes.

    So it makes a lot of sense to focus on keeping clean sheets and filling our midfield with defensive players like Jones and Carrick. And it is a lot easier when we have Vidic on the top of his game and Rio showing signs there is still life in the old dog.

    If we don’t concede we usually manage to find a goal from somewhere. And that will get us through till the New Year.

    • ash is the man

      4 December 2011 at 09:30

      it seems to me with every game that jones isnt really a defensive player, i beleive the word is explosive? he really could be the next gerrard or keane as a box to box??? him and cleverly in the future could be a replica of scholes and keane?

  21. Owen

    4 December 2011 at 07:34

    1. When Vidic plays the opposition scores 0

    2. All the exciting football early season was played with Cleverly in midfield.

  22. ash is the man

    4 December 2011 at 09:31

    it seems to me with every game that jones isnt really a defensive player, i beleive the word is explosive? he really could be the next gerrard or keane as a box to box? him and cleverly in the future could be a replica of scholes and keane?

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