After a fantastic weekend for English football, United host relegation candidates Aston Villa at Old Trafford on Monday night, in what could clinch title number 20 for the reds.
Brian Kidd was right: “It’s not over until it’s mathematically finished with… both teams can drop points as well.” At 21:50 on Monday it could well be mathematically over, and we can drop as many points as we want – as they did against Spurs – because the trophy will be coming home. IF we do what’s expected of us and take care of the guys in purple from Birmingham.
It’s exciting, but it’s important not to get carried away. Aston Villa have everything to play for as they fight to stay up, and we can’t just turn up and expect the win. We have to earn it, and it’ll be tougher than we think.
The reds will be without Ashley Young, Paul Scholes, Darren Fletcher and Chris Smalling for Villa’s visit, but have a strong squad to choose from going in to match number 34.
I would guess that Sir Alex will name his strongest eleven to wrap the season up, which includes a Vidic/Ferdinand partnership at the back, Rooney and van Persie up front, and Carrick in midfield. I can’t see there being any surprises in the line up, as this one becomes our most important match of the season.
The visitors have struggled again this season and are in a frightening position in the Premier League, just one place and three points above the relegation zone. They will be missing Gabriel Agbonlahor, Mark Albrighton and Gary Gardner, but visit Old Trafford after winning seven points from their previous twelve. Confidence will be quite high for Paul Lambert’s side in the current circumstances.
Man to watch:
One player who’s definitely taking some credit in Aston Villa’s poor season is Christian Benteke. The 22 year old Belgian striker signed for Villa on the last day of the 2012 summer transfer window, and has bagged 15 goals in 28 starts. At a cost of £7m, his performances have been to a standard befitting a player who shouldn’t be facing relegation, and is strongly tipped to be prized away from Villa Park in the summer. He’s a big, strong lad, and if any player is likely to put a dent in our title challenge on Monday night, it could be him.
Fancy a flutter?
Fancy putting a few quid on the game? Why not have a flutter on one of these…(odds courtesy of bet365.com)
- United to win 3-1 – 9/1
- Draw half time/United win full time – 11/4
- Vidic to score first in a 2-1 win – 120/1
- Van Persie hatrick – 8/1
Well, I don’t know about you, but it has seemed like a lifetime waiting for us to be on the verge on actually clinching this 20th title, and now it’s right under our nose for the taking. Let’s hope that we do Villa no favours, and we wrap up this Championship with four games to spare.
It’s also worth remembering, even if we win the title in this one there’s still the record number of points for a top league title win up for grabs. We could finish on 96 points, beating the 95 set by Chelsea in 2005. So let’s just keep ticking off the victories.
Wherever you’re watching it, make some noise, have a beer, and enjoy the game.
Follow me on Twitter: @stevecrab