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P.J. Murray 2nd Dec 2011 - 21:31

With or without kids, Villa can't win

All week Sky Sports have been harping on about the fact that this game inspired the phrase, "You can't win anything with kids." At the rate Man Utd are going, they will be happy with winning full stop.

The Villians haven't won at Old Trafford since that 3-1 defeat and them omens for them breaking that hoodoo aren't good. Alex McLeish's side could well be on the brink of a hiding after Man Utd bowed out of the Carling Cup midweek to Cyrstal Palace. Sir Alex Ferguson looked visibly annoyed after that game and will expect an answer from his side.

At 3/4 the visitors seem to be looking quite a generous bet, on form this season Man Utd are the third best side away from home, bettered only be Spurs and City. Villa are a top 10 side at Villa Park, but it's their away form which has let them down dramatically.

Alex McCleish's side last tasted victory against a spirited Norwich side but they have failed to pick up three points in their last two games.

Much has been made about the fact that this is Aston Villa's worst start to a season since 05/06 when they finished 16th, but no matter what form they were on this was always going to be a tough game. Their is a massive over reliance on Gabby Agbonlahor and Darren Bent, but with Barry Bannan and Jermain Jenas back for the clash then maybe the workload can be spread.  Their price at 4/1 seems correct.

Man United may trail their bitter rivals, but they are one of the most solid sides in the league at the moment.  The defensive partnership of Ferdinand and Vidic is always formidable. They have only conceded one goal from open play, that coming in the 6-1 demolition against City. They are also unbeaten in their last seven with 4 wins and three draws.

The halftime/fulltime market of Man Utd/Man Utd at 8/5 is something to consider, given that they will want to respond in a big way.

We also have a match winner on this game, England international Ashley Young has been pivotal to the United cause as of late, can he score and see his side win? We have enhanced this to 4/1 from 3/1.

Nemanja Vidic scored in both matches against Aston Villa last season. The big defender is 7/1 to score anytime during the game. Darren Bent is a lot shorter at 15/8 to score at anytime while his strike partner Agbonlahor is 11/4.

With their defensive record, it's hard to look past Man Utd and you can back the Red Devils at 7/4 -1 goal and 17/10 to win to nil.

For me, this has to be an away win, United can't afford to fall any further behind City if they are to deny their rivals Premier League glory. And Aston Villa haven't really settled into a decent pattern of form.


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