Villa v Man Utd Preview
Tough game for Villa legend Ron Saunders to come back to watch, hopefully Villa will be up for the scrap
Martin O'Neill agrees that West Ham did us no favours beating Manchester United last weekend as it will have served as a wake up call to the league leaders.
'Yes that's true, absolutely. But whatever way you look at it, we're going to play Manchester United and if we play like we have recently, certainly going forward, we look as if we're going to create. Against Manchester United, it won't necessarily be a free-kick or a set-piece that will be our undoing because they have the capabilities of playing through you with the really talented players they've got. It's a game we should relish and I think we will.'
Gareth Barry is looking to hand Villa fans a bit of festive cheer tomorrow with three points despite Villa not beating Man Utd since the 1995-96 campaign (when we beat them on the opening day of the season which led to Alan Hanson saying they'd win nothing with kids!).
14 losses and 2 draws have followed but Barry said: 'It's always a special game, no matter what time of year. But to play at home to Man United just two days before Christmas gives us the chance to give the fans a perfect Christmas present. We know it's a tough, tough game. Our record against United isn't that good in recent years. It's usually a decent game, but we haven't beaten them for a long time.'
'Nobody expected us to draw at Arsenal or Chelsea earlier this season, did they? We didn't just want to make up the numbers at those grounds and it's the same tomorrow....If we can get something against United tomorrow, that will get our Christmas off to the perfect start and really lift us for some tough games we've got coming up.'
Aston Villa Team News:
Gavin McCann is battling to be fit.
Player to watch: Gareth Barry
The star man so far this season, if he is in the game, Villa are in the game.
Manchester United Team News:
Rooney looks like Shrek, think that is all the away team news I have at the moment.
Player to watch: Ryan Giggs
Still a player who graces the Premiership pitches, hope he has an off day though.
Match Facts & Stats
Last season: Aston Villa 0-2 Manchester United
van Nistelrooy 10, Rooney 51
Record at Villa Park in the Prem:
Villa 2 wins, Man United 9 wins, 3 Draws.
Mystic Mug, whose Christmas spirit it still in the whisky bottle, although me thinks he's been having a tipple, says Villa to get a well deserved draw. 1-1
Mark Lawrenson, who sadly was right last week saying Bolton would win, although he got the score wrong (he said 2-1) has predicted a 0-2 loss for Villa saying on the BBC website: Manchester United had one of those days at West Ham last weekend. They did not play badly but did not look like scoring - but I think they will win at Villa. Aston Villa have started to stutter and although manager Martin O'Neill has done a really good job and brought one or two of the younger players through, his squad is nonetheless a little thin.
Tuesday 26th Away to Spurs
Saturday 30th Away to Charlton