Form guide: Villa may have won their last two fixtures (incredibly, their longest winning run since August 2011) but those victories are only two of five the Midlands side has managed this entire season. With that record, it's little wonder Paul Lambert's side languish just one place above the relegation zone. Meanwhile, United roll into town having won seven of the last eight games, including tricky league games against Chelsea and Arsenal. Confidence in the Reds' camp is sky high and why wouldn't it be? Sir Alex's men sit top of both the Barclays Premier League and Group H in the Champions League.
Ins and outs: Jonny Evans and Nani were both taken off as a precautionary measure in United's midweek win in Braga, but the Reds were boosted by the return of Chris Smalling in defence. He played his first football since May and came through 90 minutes unscathed. The game comes too soon for Phil Jones, Nemanja Vidic and Shinji Kagawa, while United will sweat on Darren Fletcher, who missed the trip to Portugal with a cold. Villa, meanwhile, have been hit hard by injury this term: Darren Bent, Charles N'Zogbia, Richard Dunne, Craig Gardner and Stilian Petrov are out for the long-term, while Lambert is crossing his fingers that defenders Chris Herd and Nathan Baker will recover in time for the Reds' visit.
Last meeting: The Reds thumped Villa 4-0 at Old Trafford in April to open up a five-point lead at the top of the table over Manchester City. Wayne Rooney netted twice (including one from the spot after former Villa favourite Ashley Young had controversially won a penalty), while Danny Welbeck and