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Match Preview – United v Aston Villa

Competition: Carling Cup FINAL
Kick-Off & Date: 3pm, Sunday 28th February
Venue: Wembley (Neutral)
Live TV Coverage: BBC 1 (HD 1) 2pm – 5:35pm & Sky Sports 1 (HD 1) 2:45pm – 5:30pm 

Referee: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire, England) 

Assistant Referees: Shaun Procter-Green & David Richardson
Fourth Official: Lee Mason

Form: United bounced back from a 3-1 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park to win 3-0 against West Ham at Old Trafford. Wayne Rooney is hot in-form for The Reds, with 19 goals in his last 19 games – with 8 headed goals this season, and he is the Premier League’s top-goalscorer with 23 goals and 27 goals in all competitions. United lost 1-0 to Villa at Old Trafford in December, and drew 1-1 at Villa Park earlier this month.

Villa have lifted the League Cup five times in eight finals, second to Liverpool, with seven cups. Villa are unbeaten in their last 12 games since losing 1-0 to the Scousers in December. Gabriel Agbonlahor is their top-scorer with a total of 14 goals this season.

The Injury Front: United will be without Rio Ferdinand, after he suffered another back strain. Luis Nani is still suspended, while Anderson has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury – he joins Ryan Giggs, John O’Shea and Owen Hargreaves on the sidelines.

United Squad: Van der Sar, Kuszczak, Foster, Rafael, Neville, Brown, Evans, Vidic, De Laet, Evra, Fabio, Valencia, Obertan, Fletcher, Carrick, Scholes, Gibson, Park, Berbatov, Owen, Rooney, Diouf.

Villa should welcome back Stiliyan Petrov after a virus. James Collins and Emile Heskey could also return, while Harewood and Reo-Coker remain injured.

Villa Sqaud: Friedel, Guzan, Cuellar, L Young, Beye, Collins, Dunne, Davies, Warnock, A Young, Milner, Petrov, Sidwell, Delph, Downing, Agbonlahor, Heskey, Carew, Delfouneso.

The Gaffer: Martin O’Neill, the Northern-Irishman is renowned for his style of play, and utilising the wingmen. He is hotly-tipped to take over Sir Alex’s post – whenever, if ever, he retires. After coming from Celtic four years ago he has ‘transformed’ Villa ! 

Most-Feared: Gabriel Agbonlahor, the 23-year-old has recently become an England International. He grabbed the only goal in Villa’s 1-0 win over United at Old Trafford last December. He is Villa’s top-scorer with 14 goals so-far this season – his best return yet !  

Ref. Phil Dowd
Referee: Phil Dowd, he has only reffed one United game this season – United 2-0 Blackburn on the 31st October last year. He has taken charge of three Villa games, and has handed out 58 yellows and 4 reds in just 16 games !  


Prediction: United 2-0 Villa, within the 90 minutes
– Rooney and Valencia !

Sunday’s Other Matches; 
(Premier League)
Tottenham v Everton, 1pm
Liverpool v Blackburn, 3pm
Sunderland v Fulham, 3pm

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Sat, 27 Feb 2010 4:20:48 pm

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