Despite everyone going loony and splashing cash like a desperate virgin in a brass house United kept it demure on deadline day and chose not to get involved with the circus.
The visit of a refreshed Aston Villa presents greater problems than usual as this time they come with new striker Darren Bent in tow. Our last game with Villa was a nightmare, I was furious with the display but at home, I expect United to offer a lot more.
Team News: As expected Sir Alex went with a weakened team against Southampton on Saturday but there is no chance of this tonight. Ferdinand and Rafael are all expected to return from injury whilst Van Der Sar, Evra and Vidic are expected to return to also although Carrick is still struggling with the ankle injury that he picked up against Birmingham.
Sir Alex faces a dilemma up front though, having scored vital goals in our last 2 games do you go with Javier Hernandez at the expense of Wayne Rooney who has been misfiring to say the least?
Aston Villa will bring Bent back in but Agbonlahor is likely to miss the game with a hamstring injury whilst new signing Bradley could make his début.
Form: United remain undefeated in the league with our only defeat this season coming against West Ham in the Carling Cup. At Old Trafford we have won 5 of our last 6 games with Valencia the only team to hold us back from taking all 3 points and we have won our last 3 games on the trot scoring 10 goals and conceding 3. Aston Villa are in a good vein of form themselves and have not tasted defeat in 5 games, the last team to defeat them being Sunderland. They have won their last 3 on the bounce including taking the scalp of our oh so bitter neighbours C*ty.
United Last 6: WWDWWW
Villa Last 6: LWDWWW
Last meeting: Looking dead and buried with 10 minutes to go in November we saw a typical United comeback as goals from Macheda (against Villa who else!) and Vidic saw us take an extremely unlike point away from a youthful team at Villa Park.
This tie last season: Against a United team with an injury ravaged backline Aston Villa took advantage to secure a 1-0 win with Gabby Agbonlahor heading Villa to victory in the first half. The victory was Aston Villa first against us in at Old Trafford in 26 years and their first in 25 league and cup matches.
Darren Bent will prove a handful, he has scored against us before but with a full back 5 we should be able to handle him. Dunn and Collins will prove a stern test for Berbatov and whoever partners him but at home we should be able to over power Houllier’s side. They will be feeling confident coming into the game, they beat us here last term, they are on a 3 game winning streak and virtually outplayed us in November so we will have to work hard early to knock their confidence with either a goal or by totally dominating play. I think we will win this, it will either be extremely tight a 1 goal affair or we will batter them, depends how we approach it.
Tonight’s game will be a hard one and you could make a killing off it, Berbatov first scorer? United win? Put a couple quid on it and reap the rewards just click the banner: