The Aston Villa vs Manchester United Premier League match will take place this Sunday, December 15, 2013 (5:30 AM Pacific) at Villa Park. Manchester United travel to Villa Park in the early kick off, to face an Aston Villa side keen to get back to winning ways after a disappointing display last time out away at Fulham. They may see this as being a great time to face the champions, who come off the back of successive home league defeats, however, when their backs are against the wall, this can see United at their most devastating.
Before their second away defeat of the season, Villa had been unbeaten in 5 games and Paul Lambert’s men have come a long way since his first season in charge, where persistence with youth was seen as a gamble against relegation by many pundits in the game. This season, Villa seem certain to stay in, or around mid-table, but will be hoping to get talismanic front man Christian Benteke back to the kind of form that saw him score 24 goals in 40 appearances last season. A return to the heights of last year for Benteke, could certainly see Villa drive up the table and they will be buoyed by the memorable 3-2 victory earlier this season over Manchester City.
Lambert will need to insist they draw on that performance to ensure they don’t let a United team that very much feel like they are on the ropes, have an easy ride upon their visit. Villa have no fresh injury concerns, and have fielded a relatively consistent starting XI throughout this year, with players such as Charles N’Zogbia frozen out and his future in doubt. Villa could technically move ahead of United this weekend, but would need a 3-0 victory to do so.
United need a result desperately, with the league all but gone before Christmas and a midfield that looks practically non- existent without Carrick (Achilles), David Moyes really needs to find his best team and his best formation, because currently he really doesn’t seem to have much of an idea.
Against Everton and Newcastle at Old Trafford, United looked devoid of any ideas, determination and team unity. Granted they won mid-week against Shakhtar Donetsk but once again it was far from convincing and could quite easily have gone the other way. The one shining light for United has been the return to sparkling form of Wayne Rooney, who, if Ferguson had remained, would undoubtedly have left the club. He returns from suspension this weekend.
To further complicate matters for Moyes, Van Persie has been ruled out for at least four more weeks due to injury. This might give Javier ‘Chicharito‘ Hernandez a rare opportunity to start. But at the moment, the problem is further back. A settled back four and midfield has been hard to come by for the former Everton manager, and he will be hoping he can get Carrick back as soon as possible, although for this game it’s unlikely.
Aston Villa vs Manchester United Prediction
Historically, this fixture has always produced a flurry of goals and talking points and last year, United came from 2-0 down to win 3-2, with Hernandez grabbing a couple to break Villa hearts. This time round, I sense Villa will come out all guns blazing once again and look to get something from the first 20 minutes. But with Rooney back from suspension, he could hold the key and relieve some of the mounting pressure felt around Old Trafford. Now is the time for the players to come out and show the world why they play for Manchester United, and why they are the defending champions. Aston Villa 1 -2 Manchester United.
Aston Villa vs Manchester United Television
The Aston Villa vs Manchester United match will be televised on Sunday, December 15 at 5:30 AM Pacific on NBC Sports and Mun2.
Aston Villa vs Manchester United Highlights
Match goals and highlights will be available soon after the match ends.