Manchester United vs Aston Villa Match Preview
Manchester United look to bounce back at Old Trafford
Can United grab the three points at home against Villa?
At the beginning of the week, Manchester United saw themselves eight points clear of their city rivals. As we now head into the weekend fixtures, United’s lead has been cut down to five points thanks to a surprising loss to Wigan mid-week.
By the time United take the field on Sunday, they could possibly only be ahead by two points, depending on how Manchester City does on Saturday. What looked to be a certain 20th English Premier League title just one week ago, now looks like it could come down to the wire. Not only did the mid-week loss to Wigan affect United’s lead, but also with City’s 4-0 victory at home, they now moved ahead of United on goal difference.
United’s veteran Ryan Giggs has come out in defense of his team going into their next match. "We don't have to get too down," Giggs said. "The main thing is that we have recovered from it. That is what we have to do again."
Fortunately for United, they now have the luxury of re-grouping at home with two consecutive home matches against Aston Villa and Everton. Villa’s last victory at Old Trafford came on December 12, 2009. English International Gabriel Agbonlahor got the only goal of the match.
Aston Villa will arrive at Old Trafford on a very poor run of form. Since the New Year, Alex McLeish’s squad has managed two victories in the EPL out of 13 matches. After bringing Darren Bent and McLeish to Villa Park, this is certainly not the way Villa fan’s had hoped things would play out this season.
With just six points separating Villa from the relegation zone, they realistically can’t afford to continuously drop points. While snatching one point at Old Trafford will be considered a great result for Villa, they also need a solid performance to moralize the players.
These final five games will make or break the season for both teams. While Manchester United is chasing their 20th title, Aston Villa is looking to finish off strong and avoid a relegation battle in the final weeks of the campaign.
Expect a Manchester United team moralized and ready to put that loss at Wigan behind them. If Manchester City is to drop points Saturday, then an incredible amount of pressure will be lifted. If Manchester City gets all three points, United will need to stay focused and not try to do things to fast. The longer Villa can keep United from scoring, the more frustrated they will become. Then it turns into a scenario where the players will begin to play more with their heart than with their head.