FOOTBALL NEWS

19/04/2013 15:59, Report by N Coppack, M Singh
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Preview: United v Villa

Last meeting: Back in November, Aston Villa went 2-0 up at Villa Park thanks to an Andreas Weimann brace. United, however, inspired by half-time substitute Javier Hernandez, scored twice in five minutes to draw level. Then, with just three minutes remaining, the Mexican stooped to head home a dramatic winner and break Villa fans' hearts.

Did you know? The last time United failed to score in a Premier League home game was in December 2009, 65 games ago. The opponents that night: Aston Villa. The Midlands side won 1-0 thanks to a Gabriel Agbonlahor header.

Opposition boss: Paul Lambert has been lauded for keeping faith with Villa's young players during a time when results haven't always gone their way. He came to Old Trafford last season with Norwich and almost produced an upset. His return this term comes just one day shy of the 16th anniversary of Borussia Dortmund's Champions League semi-final second leg victory at OT, a game in which he excelled for the Germans.

Star man: It's not often you see a struggling side's striker near the top of the goalscoring charts, but only four men have netted more times in the league this season than 22-year-old Christian Benteke. The powerful Belgian is a real handful for defenders – just ask Chris Smalling, who was bundled off the ball back in November in the lead-up to Villa's first goal. 

Quote/unquote: “We expect a scrap. You expect a team to fight for everything when they’re down there. That’s the least you expect. Villa, as they showed against Stoke City, have a bit of life about them." – Sir Alex Ferguson

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