Date: 15th April 2012 at 10:26am
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Is your money on this guy to score first?

Just a week ago, the euphoria was set at a maximum high, as United took an eight point lead at the top of the Premier League.  We go in to today’s game just two points in front of nearest challengers Manchester City, showing that the Villa match is a must win for the reds.

We had a strange night at the DW Stadium in midweek, where the complacency and failure to control the game by every man in a red shirt was plain to see.  Dominated by a relegation threatened Wigan Athletic , who quite deservedly beat us, means that the players must come out in this one with their hearts and showing that they want to clinch a 20th league title.

Judging by the reaction of some people on Twitter after the Wigan game, it’s important that the fans put their heart in to supporting the team too.

This is perhaps the most important part of the season, and it’s not the time to quietly sit back, expect a stroll in the park and be entertained…it’s time to do your bit. Be vocal, be supportive, and back the lads for the whole 90 minutes.

United are likely to bring back Paul Scholes, who was rested for the defeat at Wigan in midweek, and other than the usual long term absentees, there are no new injuries to report for the reds.Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson has reported no fresh injury concerns.

Villa come to Old Trafford strengthened by the return of Carlos Cuellar, Charles N’Zogbia, Ciaran Clark and Nathan Delfouneso, who have all recently been out through injury.

Stephen Warnock is possibly going to miss out with an ankle injury, Chris Herd has a head injury and Marc Albrighton and Fabian Delph are reportedly not near match fitness.

Surely if anyone can hold their nerve as their last five games are played out it is United? They must still be strong favourites but their big players were all below par at Wigan and they thoroughly deserved to lose. They can allow themselves one more mishap and still win the league – but not two.

Putting the season in to perspective, lets not suddenly think that all is lost.  The defeat at Wigan was only the second time we’ve failed to score in 49 league and cup games this season, the 3-0 loss at Newcastle in January being the other one.

If we score on Sunday we’ll break the Premier League record for goals scored in consecutive home matches. The record currently stands at 46 top-flight games at Old Trafford, and we share the record with Arsenal, who set that figure between 2001 and 2003.

Omens are good, with United having won all six of their league games at Old Trafford this year.  Our opponents have lost just four away league games this season, and only we have a better record with two defeats.

Villa also have the most draws on their travels (nine), and have won just three times.


Having a flutter on today’s game?  United are 1/5 to take the victory with Bet365, you can get the draw at 11/4 and a Villa win will give you odds of 14/1.

£10 on Wayne Rooney to score first in a 2-0 will will earn you £70, and £5 on Ashley Young to score two or more goals against his former club could net you £45.

It’s a must win game for the reds, as we aim to maintain a five point gap at the top.  It’s a bigger game than we could have imagined seven days ago, and it’s important that the players give what they didn’t give against Wigan in midweek, but it’s equally as important for the fans to turn up to this one.

Wherever you’re watching it, enjoy the game.

Follow me on Twitter: @stevecrab


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