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Barclays Premier League

Old Trafford (ATT 75,409) 5th April 2009 - Kick off 16:00 Ref: M Riley

Man Utd Manchester United vs Aston Villa A Villa


Man Utd v Aston Villa preview

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By Richard Bailey.   Last Updated: 05/04/09 3:32pm

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Rooney: Suspended

Rooney: Suspended

Manchester United will be looking to get their title charge back on track as they welcome out-of-form Aston Villa to Old Trafford on Sunday.

PREDICTIONS prediction: Man Utd 2 Aston Villa 1 Sky Bet odds: Man Utd 2/5 Draw 10/3 Aston Villa 15/2 One to watch: Gabriel Agbonlahor

The Red Devils face the prospect of starting the match in second place if Liverpool can avoid defeat at Fulham on Saturday.

United have seen their seven-point lead at the top whittled away to just a point after two successive Premier League defeats although they do have a game in hand on their title rivals.

Meanwhile Villa have seen their grip on the top four loosen significantly in recent weeks after going five league games without a win and succumbing 5-0 at Anfield last time out.

Man United team news

United will be without suspended duo Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes after both were sent off in the 2-0 defeat to Fulham in their last league outing.

Defender Nemanja Vidic will also be absent through suspension as he sits out the final game of a two-match ban after he was shown a straight red in the 4-1 defeat to Liverpool.

Striker Dimitar Berbatov has been ruled out for two weeks after he injured his ankle against the Cottagers.

The 28-year-old hobbled off at Craven Cottage and was forced to withdraw from the Bulgaria squad for last week's World Cup qualifiers as a result.

Anderson could also miss out through a knee injury he picked up while away on international duty with Brazil.

Rio Ferdinand should be passed fit despite being withdrawn late on in England's 2-1 win over Ukraine in midweek with a back complaint.

Fellow defender Gary Neville has proved his fitness ahead of the clash after coming through a reserve game unscathed earlier in the week.

Wes Brown (foot), Rafael (ankle) and Owen Hargreaves (knee) remain sidelined.

Villa team news

Striker Emile Heskey will miss out for Villa with the hamstring injury that forced him off for England against Slovakia last week.

Gabriel Agbonlahor should replace the former Wigan man after he was dropped to the bench for the trip to Liverpool and partner John Carew up front.

Left-back Wilfred Bouma could return from an eight-month lay-off at Old Trafford after playing his third successive reserve game earlier this week.

The Dutchman has been out since July after dislocating his ankle in an Intertoto Cup match.

Goalkeeper Brad Friedel will remain between the sticks after his sending off at Anfield was rescinded.

Martin O'Neill's side will have to rip up the form book if they are to get maximum points on Sunday with Villa's last win at Old Trafford coming in 1983.

Possible starting XIs

Man Utd: Van der Sar, O'Shea, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Park, Ronaldo, Fletcher, Carrick, Giggs, Tevez.

Aston Villa: Friedel, L Young, Bouma, Davies, Cuellar, Milner, A Young, Petrov, Barry, Agbonlahor, Carew.

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Barclays Premier League

Barclays Premier League
Pos Team P Pts
1 Chelsea 38 87
2 Manchester City 38 79
3 Arsenal 38 75
4 Manchester United 38 70
5 Tottenham Hotspur 38 64
6 Liverpool 38 62
7 Southampton 38 60
8 Swansea City 38 56
9 Stoke City 38 54
10 Crystal Palace 38 48
11 Everton 38 47
12 West Ham United 38 47
13 West Bromwich Albion 38 44
14 Leicester City 38 41
15 Newcastle United 38 39
16 Sunderland 38 38
17 Aston Villa 38 38
18 Hull City 38 35
19 Burnley 38 33
20 Queens Park Rangers 38 30