Match Preview: Manchester United at Villa Park

You don't beat Manchester United by sitting back. You beat Manchester United by going at them and scoring more than them. I say that, because if you go at them, there is a likelihood they will score, so you have to score more than them and when you don't have the ball, get men back.

There you have it. My preview. Tomorrow, we have to attack quickly and get men behind the ball when we don't have it. In essence, we keep one man up front, have our midfielders battle and close down space and make it difficult for Manchester United to play the type of football that they like to play.

I know it is easy to write and in the match never that easy, but if we sit back we will get hammered, so when we attack we have to attack with options and we have to be quick - we can not sit on the ball and we need runners.

Early team news

We have so many injuries at the moment that the team pretty much picks itself and despite some getting a bit worried by our recent performances, I actually think they've done okay, considering they are very likely getting asked to play a new way.

The one area that we might see a change is up front. Gabby made an appearance against Blackpool the other night, but I'm not convinced that the manager will throw him in after twenty-five minutes. I think the manager will also see the benefit to having someone like Gabby coming off the bench with a quarter of the match remaining if we are chasing something or still looking.

The key area is going to be midfield and some are going to be worried that the likes of Barry Bannan and Ciaran Clark are going to be overrun. I'm not worried, I have a feeling that after this game, they'll both get a glowing write up and they might even surprise a few people. This match is certainly a stage for them to do this.

Expect Downing and Albrighton to have their usual good games, but look out for Ashley Young. For me, he is the key man for tomorrow and I hope he shines.

He is still my star man and I can still see him picking up the player of the year award at the end of the season and we all know he is going to have a really good game soon. Tomorrow, he needs to track back and when he gets the ball, find the space and use it.

I think he will and if it all comes good for him and his head is on right, he could be our match winner. Podcast

Luke was busy this week; parties, fancy dress and quite a bit of beer I imagine but when he had a moment spare, he spent it talking to that guys over at RedCafe for their weekly podcast. In it he made his prediction for the match tomorrow. I won't spoil it for you so click here to listen.


It is so easy for me to predict a home win for tomorrow, but everything is possible and Manchester United look like they wont be able to field a full strength team and while the side they put out will be strong, there is a chance, there is always a chance.

So, my prediction is going to be a home win, but if I was a betting man, I'd put a fiver on a draw. I don't see us losing - which is a positive.