Manchester United travel to Villa Park on Saturday evening to face Aston Villa looking to extend their lead at the top of the table.
United reached the summit for the first time this season with a 2-1 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford last Saturday and held on to top spot after Chelsea could only draw with Swansea 1-1 later in the day. Chelsea and Manchester City are not in action until Sunday this weekend so Sir Alex Ferguson’s men have the chance to open up a four point gap from their rivals.
United head into the game having won 8 of their 10 games this season and will be full of confidence after securing qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 3-1 win away at Braga on Wednesday.
Villa on the other hand have endured a poor start to the season and currently sit just above the relegation zone in 17th place but managed to open up a gap from 16th placed Reading with a hard-fought 1-0 win away at Sunderland last weekend.
Aston Villa midfielder Karim El Ahmadi returns from suspension but defender Eric Lichaj is out after picking up his fifth booking of the season last weekend.
Left-back Joe Bennett is unlikely to play due to a knee injury so Enda Stevens may have to come in. Paul Lambert is expected to go with Gabi Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke up front with Darren Bent expected to miss out once again with an ankle problem.
Ferguson is sweating on the fitness of central defender Jonny Evans who is struggling to overcome a groin complaint. If he’s ruled out Chris Smalling is in line to step in.
Portuguese winger Nani misses out with a tight hamstring and joins Shinji Kagawa, Phil Jones and Nemanja Vidic on the sidelines.
United are something of a bogey team for Villa with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side unbeaten in their last 16 visits to Villa Park in the league and have only lost once in their previous 33 meetings with the Villains. The form book suggests an away win and who are we to argue. Villa 0-2 Man Utd.
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