Man Utd v Aston Villa: McLeish will have already accepted away defeat
Aston Villa’s record against the teams battling for a Champions League place is dreadful this season and another long afternoon beckons as they travel to a Manchester United side on fire in the Premier League at Old Trafford in 2012.
Manchester United’s odds are 2/9 to beat Aston Villa and this is no surprise as the visitors have triumphed on only one of their last 26 Premier League visits to Old Trafford.
Not only should Sir Alex Ferguson’s team return to winning ways after their blip against Wigan, they should win handsomely.
Manchester United have scored at least twice at home against all of the teams still involved in the relegation mix this season and given the attacking riches at their disposal, it must be somewhat of a revelation that they have only netted three or more in six showdowns overall on their own patch.
Sir Alex has overseen six successive home victories since the disastrous defeat to Blackburn on New Years’ Eve and Luis Suarez is the only opposing player to have breached their defence in this run.
Villa have conceded at least three in six of their last eight league trips to Old Trafford and they are arguably now in their worst period since being under the guidance of David O’Leary in 2006.
It is 5/6 that Manchester United win to nil and an appetising 10/11 that they score a minimum of three goals against Villa.
If Alex McLeish’s team are to gain any result to boost their relegation fears, then they will need Gabby Agbonlahor firing on all cylinders.
Agbonlahor has not managed a league goal since November, but he has found the target on his last two visits to Old Trafford, including the only goal of the game in 2009.
It is 12/1 that Agbonlahor opens the scoring and 4/1 that he nets at any time in the 90 minutes, with Villa 11/1 to claim an unlikely three points, even if they have won away at Chelsea already this season.