Aston Villa v Manchester United: Match preview

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Aston Villa v Manchester United

Barclays Premier League

Villa Park

Saturday, December 3. Kick-off: 1730


Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov will make his return, having missed last weekend's encounter with Swansea due to a hamstring complaint.

Stephen Ireland also missed the trip to Wales, and is also in contention to make an appearance Villa Park. Meanwhile, Emile Heskey is set to make his 500th Barclays Premier League appearance.

For Manchester United, Dimitar Berbatov will miss out with an ankle injury he sustained against Crystal Palace, while the Da Silva twins are also sidelined.

Danny Welbeck is also a doubt for the title holders.


Fergie feeling confident

Sir Alex Ferguson feels that Manchester United remain on the right track, despite failing to win their most recent two outings.

Newcastle held on for a 1-1 draw in the Barclays Premier League against United last Saturday, while Crystal Palace sealed a famous win at Old Trafford in midweek.

The latter was a loss that left Ferguson seething, but he has urged his players to put the shock defeat behind them and focus on Aston Villa this weekend.

And the United boss expects his side to give a far better account of themselves at Villa Park.

"Our form last Saturday was excellent, we played as well as we have played all season," he said.

"We needed that little bit of luck around about the goalmouth - that would have made it a good result as Newcastle have been playing really well.

"We made so many chances we really should have won the game comfortably so I have no problems with that."

He added: "We have a good record at Villa Park - it's no coincidence that our best records away from home are at Villa Park and Tottenham.

"To me they represent real football grounds, the atmosphere is good, the crowds are close to the touchline and we have done well down there.

"But every time we have had to play well down there to win, you can't just depend on your past record."

Premier League
Manchester United
Aston Villa

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