In the last week I visited avfcforums.com to gather their views on the upcoming game between Utd and Aston Villa. With both teams hitting a rough patch in terms of disappointing performances, both will be aiming for a strong showing and most importantly 3 points.
Here is what the Villa fans had to say...
You currently sit 8th in the Premier League table so far, how do you think your season has gone so far?
Villain: 8th place isnt bad on paper but far from happy with how negative weve been and some of the personnel that play week in week out. Overall poor.
Sandro: I don't think it has gone very well, we drew too many matches (many of which we ought to have won) and only won 3 in 13, not nearly enough. And we still have to play against you, Chelsea, 'pool and Arsenal, and if we get ONE point out of those 4 matches we will be very lucky.
Zidave: I think the season as a whole so far has been very underwhelming. We've had one of the best strings of fixtures you could ask for and we hardly have anything to show for it. It's something I've been saying for months and only now do a lot of people see, that are league position is deceiving. An unbeaten streak overshadowed valuable points we were losing out on. I haven't been fooled, we're going to get found out in the next 2 months.
You had to cope with the loss of two influential players in Downing and Young in the summer. Have you had to change your style after losing those players and how has the team reacted to the change?
davesearle: As said before, losing those players hasnt changed our style, when we played you at VP last season half our team was out and we still gave you a better game than we've given anyone so far this season. The problem is McLeish.
Adzvilla: The style has changed yes, but I believe that is the managers choice. Houllier tried to play total football and McLeish plays quite the opposite. Albrighton is our most natural winger yet he can't seem to get a look in. This has implications as Darren Bent rarely touches the ball in each game.
DanEgan12345: Gabby has stepped up to the plate brilliantly on one side, but N'Zogbia has been poor so far, considering how well he played for Wigan last season. Most of the fans would rather see Albrighton playing instead. We've changed style but I'm not sure we "had" to.
The January transfer window is approaching. What realistic changes, if any, would you like to see in the squad?
Tubz: We need another winger imo, another fullback, and get rid of Heskey and replace him. But I expect us to get no one, apart from Enda who signed in the Summer.
Andy: We need some quality in the centre to help our promising youngsters. I expect none in and none out personally and changes next summer.
TanserMan: I'd like to see a bruiser in midfield, a general. Our team is far to quiet, we need someone to mix it up and drag the rest of the team by the scruff of the neck. January is always difficult though to get a deal done for a reasonable price.
rustynutz: There will be no players in @ the Jan sales , and almost definatly 1 out in Carlos.
Who is your biggest threat for the upcoming game and what style do you think you have to implement to take the victory?
ButlerAVFC: Our biggest threat is definitely Gabby Agbonlahor. He is one assist off the top of the assist table, he seems to have formed a partnership with Darren Bent and his pace is just staggering.
Sandro: The biggest threat is our defense. You can always expect any one from our back 4 to mess up and concede stupid goals. McLeish will probably set up the game like he did against Tottenham, and we all saw how that worked out. Anything different would be an improvement, but it's quite unrealistic to hope even for a point, let alone 3.
Zidave: I think we'll have to pass the ball around to be honest. United is a team that has a strong defense and can counter attack like a lightning bolt on top of holding possession when needed. One of the best defenses here for us is an offense - holding the ball. We don't have a good enough defense to sit back and expect a draw from any team in the EPL right now, let alone United. That said I can almost guarantee that's what we'll see. Our only hope is seeing Bannan and Jenas on the pitch. They both like to pick a pass and move into space going forward.
Who are you most worried about from United's perspective?
NotAlexMcLeish: The fans, if they find out I'm saving up for plugs, I don't even...
davesearle: Alex McLeish...lol! On a serious note just about everyone. You look fantastic going forward when given a bit of space and we seem happy to sit back and hope for the best, if I was a betting man I wouldnt be putting money on a "first goalscorer" because I genuinely believe any one of your outfield player has a chance!
DanEgan12345: Take your pick! Rooney always does well against us and Hernandez's movement up front will cause Collins no end of trouble.
Alex McLeish has been a controversial yet interesting choice as manager, what is your brief opinion of his appointment and how do you think he's done so far?
TheDoctor: I was initially very annoyed with his appointment. I got behind him though, particularly after some of his interviews but he has proved himself to be a complete liar and totally incompetent. He's just a scared little yes-man. Completely gutless and tactically brain-dead.
Tubz: McNugget. Says it all tbh. Negative. Boring. Hoofball. Another three choice words
Andy: I think it was a bad appointment. No matter how well he does the fans will only be waiting for the next slip up, and the negative tactics he employs speak volumes for his confidence in himself the squad. Under MO'N or even Houllier you would never have seen that, on our day we felt we could beat anyone and they reinforced that, not undermined it.
TanserMan: I like him, I think he's just what the squad needed...the disharmony, the disjointed play, the shenanigans of the field. We are finally starting to look like a unit and hopefully this will reflect in results. I don't think he's had the best of starts but what can we realistically hope for? He's done what we've needed to do so far, some bad results but we're blooding youth and trying new things, not everything will go right all the time!
In your opinion, where will Man Utd finish in the league and how will they fare in the Champions League?
ButlerAVFC: 2nd in the Prem, Semi-Finals in the Champions league.
Villain: 1st in the league and probably semis in the champions league as i think bayern, barca and real will be the obvious favourites.
Sandro: I think United will win neither of the 2 this year. Probably second in the league, and get knocked out by one of the 2 spanish teams in the CL, whenever they face them. You might be able to win one of the domestic cups though.
Aside from the obvious big names (Rooney, Vidic, Hernandez, Nani), which Utd player would you like to see at Villa?
NotAlexMcLeish: Scholes if I could. We could always use another ginger in the team.
davesearle: Not sure if Phil Jones counts as a "big name" yet but he looks a top player
If you were Utd manager, what Aston Villa player would you be most like to sign?
DanEgan12345: Bannan could definitely add something, although he is similar to Cleverly in that he's a good ball playing midfielder. I'd say Gabby too but you have enough players in that position. Gary Gardner is another one we're trying to keep quiet about... but we wont be able to for very long.
TheDoctor: Bannan, Albrighton, Clark and Herd would be on my list for their potential and youth. Bar Given, Gabby and Bent I don't think we have any other senior players that could even make the united Bench.
Andy: I'm loath to give you names lol, but we have some very bright young prospects in Barry Bannan, Gary Gardner and Ciaran Clark who are all good enough for our first team. With the right guidance they could play for anyone in time.
Finally - score predictions for the game?
TanserMan: A draw, last season we should have won but let a two goal lead slip! I just feel we'll put a shift in and grind a score draw out of you.
rustynutz: Anything below a 4-0 defeat for us ,will be a bonus the way we are playing atm
Villain: 2-0 to united.
Thanks to the Villa fans for all their help during the week, and let's hope Saturday's game is a spectacle for all the fans.
2012/2013 Pickem Winner
Congratulations to RedDevilDazzy who clinched the winners spot of our pickem predictions game, it was close!!