Aston Villa were made to work hard to beat Blackpool's controversial 'reserve' side on Wednesday on the same night that Manchester United were securing their fifth away draw via six Premier League games this season.
Team news confirms that Paul Scholes misses out through suspension whilst Rafael will not recover from a dead leg in time for the game. Patrick Evra could be available for selection however, whilst Villa look to have lost the services of yet another player as Stephen Ireland withdrew from training on Friday because of a stomach complain.
So many missing Villa players points to the 5/6 odds being taken as United simply have to start making inroads into Chelsea's lead. Sir Alex will be reminding his players that United have achieved the double ten times over their opponents down the years, and that Villa have not won this fixture since the opening day of the season back in 1995.
Villa manager Gerard Houllier will take results any which way they come this season, whilst Sir Alex Ferguson will defend gaining a point at Eastlands to as many reporters who want to tackle the Manchester United boss, irrespective of the fact that a victory looked there for the taking.
United have secured over seventy per cent of the available points at Villa Park via eighteen Premier League matches and a victory on Saturday would take the ratio to 71.9%. The pre match stats suggest that United are 8/13 to win the match, whereby the 5/6 odds should be accommodated.