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Premier League Preview: Manchester United v Aston Villa

Disgruntled Manchester United fans plan to vent their frustration at manager David Moyes during Saturday’s home game with Aston Villa.

The televised Premier League clash at Old Trafford is likely to be overshadowed by events off the pitch – or rather in the air to be more precise – as a section of the club’s supporters look set to call for the under-fire Scot to be removed.

The comprehensive manner in which United have slumped to back-to-back 3-0 home defeats against bitter rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in the last fortnight has sparked much debate about Moyes’ future.

And the ex-Everton boss could be in for an uncomfortable afternoon against Villa as a plane brandishing the message ‘Wrong One – Moyes Out’, a reference to ‘The Chosen One’ banner at OId Trafford, will be flown over the stadium after being funded by a group of angry fans.

On the pitch, seventh-placed United will attempt to restore some pride and put an end to a three-game winless streak on home soil in the Premier League.

The return of club captain Nemanja Vidic from a two-game ban is a timely boost, as is the fact that the crestfallen defending champions have an excellent record against Villa.

United have won the last six games between the two clubs and are unbeaten in nine encounters in all competitions.

The 3-0 victory at Villa Park back in December provided a rare highlight in an otherwise turbulent first season in charge for Moyes, who is still without Robin van Persie (knee).

With United set to face holders Bayern Munich in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie on Tuesday, Wayne Rooney has issued a rallying call to his team-mates to move on from the Liverpool and City setbacks.

“We’ve got two big games coming up against Bayern Munich, but first we have to focus on the Villa game and try to end the season on a positive note,” said the striker, who scored a spectacular long-range strike in the 2-0 success at West Ham last weekend.

Villa head to Old Trafford striving to be the 10th team to leave with a point or more in the Premier League this season.

And while the 1-0 win over leaders Chelsea earlier this month and 2-2 draw at Liverpool in January shows that Paul Lambert’s men are capable of more than holding their own in big games, Villa were ruthlessly beaten 4-1 by Stoke City last weekend to ground the club’s players.

Lambert will nevertheless be targeting a top-half finish, with his side relatively comfortably clear of relegation trouble. Karim El Ahmadi (thigh s
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train) and Andreas Weimann (dead leg) are both doubts after being withdrawn in the first half against Stoke.

Despite a disappointing display against Stoke, midfielder Marc Albrighton is confident of troubling United.

“If we can go to Old Trafford, put in a performance and get a result, everyone will forget about Sunday,” he said.

Thu 27 March, 2014
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