MATCH ARTICLES

14/12/2013 09:41, Report by Tim Oscroft
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Preview: Aston Villa v United

Date, time and coverage: Sunday 15 December, 13:30 GMT. The match will be televised live in the UK on Sky Sports, but you can follow it via ManUtd.com’s live blog and MUTV Online’s radio commentary and then watch the game in full on MUTV from midnight matchday. 

Form guide: The Reds returned to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday night, ensuring top spot in Champions League Group A. Villa, who slipped to a 2-0 defeat at Fulham in their last outing, have won just two of their seven Premier League fixtures on home soil this term.

Ins and outs: Robin van Persie will miss the next month with a thigh problem, while Michael Carrick is still recovering from an Achilles tendon injury and won't be available until Christmas. Defender Alex Büttner has declared himself fit after suffering a touch of cramp late on against Shakhtar. Villa will be without suspended midfielder Fabian Delph, and they also have injury worries over striker Libor Kozac, skipper Ron Vlaar and fellow defenders Antonio Luna and Joe Bennett.

Betting: United’s good away form – unbeaten in the last seven road trips in all competitions – and Villa’s problems at home help make the Reds hot favourites at 1.65 to win on Sunday with bwin, our official betting partners. The draw is 3.60, while a Villans victory is priced at 5.65. There are more than 140 other offers with bwin, including a tempting little flutter where Phil Jones is at 29.00 to follow his winner in midweek and score the first goal of Sunday’s game.

The manager: Paul Lambert, a Champions League winner with Borussia Dortmund in 1997, steered Villa to 15th in the

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