Man Utd v Aston Villa, Sun 16:00
The infamous ‘hair-dryer treatment’ is sure to have reared its ugly head in the Manchester United dressing room after the Red Devils succumbed to relegation threatened Wigan Athletic on Wednesday night and the Premiership champions will be keener than ever to get back to winning ways against Aston Villa as Ladbrokes offer long odds on the Birmingham outfit to cause an Old Trafford upset.
United were enjoying a four-match unbeaten streak but their eight-point lead over Manchester City was short-lived and the loss will have been a wake up call that this season is not yet over.
That being said, with only one win in their last ten fixtures, one would think that Villa should fall against United who will undoubtedly have renewed vigour following their defeat.
Alex McCleish’s side last tasted victory in early March and the Scot would take no greater satisfaction than getting his team’s season back on track against fellow compatriot and long-time friend, Ferguson.
The Villans have drawn their last two matches in identical fashion but will need to keep their wits about them in the Premier League run-in lest they risk being dragged into a battle against relegation.
Villa are currently just six points off the drop zone and while their form has stagnated somewhat, fellow candidates for the drop such as Wigan, QPR, Blackburn and Bolton have all experienced recent surges in performance.
McCleish would be happy to welcome back Fabian Delph, Marc Albrighton and Stephen Warnock, who are all fighting for fitness ahead of this weekend.
However, Richard Dunne are likely to miss the game with a shoulder and head injury, respectively.
Sir Alex Ferguson is unlikely to see any first-team regulars return to action but after stating that the veteran would have his part to play in the remainder of the campaign, Michael Owen could gain fitness in time.