Manchester United will look to bounce back immediately from their shocking Carling Cup defeat against Crystal Palace with three much needed points against Aston Villa this weekend as Ladbrokes report an exclusive free bets offer.
United have recovered from their 6-1 drubbing against Manchester City sufficiently enough to keep them in the hunt for top spot, but boss Sir Alex Ferguson will be more than a little concerned about his side’s solid but not spectacular form of late.
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The controversial draw against Newcastle at Old Trafford left Ferguson less than pleased with the match referee, and the Scot will be desperately looking to put that controversy behind him and keep the pressure up on City going into the packed Christmas schedule, although back to back draws before the defeat against Palace have certainly piled the pressure on the reigning Premier League champions.
Aston Villa meanwhile have had a tough time of it recently, and were roundly criticised for their performance against Tottenham ten days ago that saw them succumb to a 2-0 defeat that went hand in hand with an insipid performance.
McLeish opted for an extremely defensive set up against Spurs that hugely backfired, and the Scot may be tempted to go for all-out attack given the poor form of their illustrious rivals as a consequence.
A draw against Swansea last week was satisfactory enough given the testing circumstances that saw the game at the Liberty Stadium put into doubt following the tragic death of Wales boss Gary Speed, and Alex McLeish will certainly be looking for a strong performance from his side to impress the Villa Park faithful.
United will be without midfielder Anderson after the Brazilian midfielder was ruled out until February, while both Da Silva twins limped off during the game against Palace casting a doubt over their availability for Saturday’s game. Michael Owen and Tom Cleverly are long term absentees.
Villa will go into the game with the influential Stiliyan Petrov as the only injury concern, otherwise McLeish has a full strength side to choose from.