Man Utd vs Aston Villa
LONDON. Manchester United can move to within three points of the Premier League title by beating Aston Villa on Monday and could even finish the game as champions if results go their way this weekend.
Alex Ferguson’s side currently hold a 13-point lead over second-place Manchester City and if their nearest rivals were to lose at Champions League-chasing Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, United would need just three points to secure the English crown.
However, although it seems inevitable that United will succeed City as champions, they are not surging towards the finish line in a blaze of glory.
Their last home game saw them beaten 2-1 by City and at West Ham United on Wednesday, the visitors had to come from behind twice and needed a 77th-minute goal from Robin van Persie to escape Upton Park with a 2-2 draw.
Villa will travel to Old Trafford buoyed by a run of form in which they have taken 10 points from a possible 15 and knowing that a surprise victory would have huge ramifications at the bottom of the table.
If the visitors were to win, both Reading and Queens Park Rangers would be relegated and third-bottom Wigan Athletic would be cut six points adrift of safety.
Villa have beaten Stoke City 3-1 and drawn 1-1 at home to Fulham in their last two outings and United manager Ferguson says their recent performances prove they have the stomach for the relegation fight.
“We expect a scrap. The least you expect is for a team to fight for everything when they’re down there,” he said.
Villa out to spoil United title party