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Man Utd can’t be trusted at home where goals are only certainty

| 28.03.2014

A casual look at the previous meetings between these two would give a first impression of relief to United fans, but they have learnt the hard way that for them anyway there are no easy games anymore.

The club have won their last six matches against Aston Villa and won 10 of their last 11 at home against the Midlands side. However, this impressive record will feel more like a relic to Red Devils’ fans this season and is unlikely to provide much comfort following arguably their most humbling result of a near-catastrophic campaign.

The 3-0 home loss to Man City was mathematically their joint-worst result of the season but came just nine days after their originally most chastening defeat when going down to Liverpool by the same margin.

It would be far harder for United fans to answer which of those performances hurt most than if they were asked whether David Moyes should stay.

The best hope for the beleaguered champions is earning the dubious honour of being able to compete in the Europa League next season but with talk of unrest amongst some of the most influential players at the club it is a leap of faith just to think that there are enough of the squad who have the motivation to chase that lowly and unfamiliar objective.

Villa also have little to play for in terms of achievement this year with successive wins over Norwich and Chelsea sending them nine points clear of the dreaded line and closer to mid-table anonymity than anything more exciting.

However, the fact that they are arriving off the back of their own worst result, when inexplicably conceding four goals after taking the lead in front of their own fans against Stoke, demands a reaction that looks set to collide with their opponent’s.

The balance of which response will overcome the other is still in favour of the favourites courtesy of having better players and home advantage but if anyone hasn’t learnt the perils of backing United at home this season they never will.

Prices of 4/9 about a home win are prohibitive with everything considered and the 13/2 for a ‘shock’ away win makes far more appeal.

Logic dictates that after a home defeat there should be a significant improvement from the big teams for the next game but twice already since December that has failed to materialise.

The 1-0 reversal to Everton was followed 72 hours later by the same defeat to Newcastle and a month after that a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham was compounded with an FA Cup exit to Swansea by the same scoreline.

As a result, United cannot be relied upon at odds-on and if the idea of a first Villa win at Old Trafford in the league since 2009 is too fanciful then it may pay to invest in there being lots of goals.

Only once in their last eight encounters has the game failed to produce more than 2.5 goals and the 8/11 that there will be at least three is very tempting.

United will understandably be desperate not to disappoint their fans again, especially with all sorts of creative protests planned for the day but often their nerves have translated into entertainment for the neutral and it would be a major surprise if there wasn’t lots to talk about after full-time.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Sam Foster