Villa at Old Trafford: Ingredients that may make it a different story
By Ian Robathan
Friday 11 Dec 2009 23:07:00
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Villa's annual trip to the 'Theatre of Dreams' usually means a guaranteed three points for Man Utd – as it did last season, when the hosts did not deserve such reward.

But could this season be different? We have seen a different Villa against the top clubs this campaign, one which has shown resilience and the ability to beat the best teams home and away.

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So with Man Utd's injury issues – you can’t call it crisis when eight internationals played for them on Wednesday - it is clear we have a good chance of a decent result for the first time in years.

I expect the team that started against Hull to start on Saturday (it’s a 5.30 kick-off) and I expect us to make chances, especially on their right which looks vulnerable against pace.

We know what happens when we play against Man Utd.

Rooney - and in the past Ronaldo - usually destroys us. But with Ronaldo gone, I also expect our solid defence to play much better, especially in the full-back positions with no Ronaldo out there - Nani and Valencia are not of the same quality.

The referee will also play a vital part in this game.

We know what happens up there, with clear onside positions being given offside and very dodgy penalties galore.

So if all things are even and if we get some luck, we can win. The question is whether, after years of failure at Old Trafford, can we overcome the psychological barrier which is always with us?

If so, it could just be a day to remember.

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