Aston Villa vs. Manchester United 2012: Preview and tv schedule

Clive Rose

Aston Villa have a hard task arresting their wobbly form as they face the leaders at Villa Park.

Aston Villa face the first of a nightmare run of fixtures as they take on the league leaders Manchester United at Villa Park.

Villa currently sit just one league position above the drop zone, and while four points separate them from the relegation places, Paul Lambert will be aware that he may not enjoy such a cushion after his next three games against Manchester United, Manchester City, and Arsenal.

United have a few injury problems which will keep their team from being too settled, but with the attacking capability they have, Villa will face an uphill task in improving their rotten record against the Red Devils - they have won just one of their last 31 league games against them.

With Arsenal and City incoming, Villa's expected defeat will be far more problemating, and Paul Lambert will be desperate to pick up something. But with Rio Ferdinand warning that United showing their best form was just around the corner, he will have to hope that is not the case if he is to get an unlikely result.

Aston Villa injuries and suspensions

Out: Eric Lichaj (suspension), Darren Bent (ankle). In doubt: Joe Bennett (knee).

Manchester United injuries and suspensions

Out: Shinji Kagawa (knee), Phil Jones (knee), Nemanja Vidic (knee), Nani (hamstring). In doubt: Jonny Evans (groin).

Eric Lichaj faces a one-match ban after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season, but Karim El Ahmadi is back from his ban and ready to take his place in the Villa midfield.

Manchester United's swathe of knee injuries continues to leave their squad depleted, and Nani and Jonny Evans have now been added to the absentee list. Chris Smalling has only just returned, but may have to continue in United's defence.

Match Date\Time: Saturday, 5:30 p.m. local, 12:30 p.m. ET

Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham, England

TV: Fox Soccer Channel (U.S. English), Fox Deportes (U.S. Spanish), RAI Internazionale (U.S.\Canada), Sky Sports 2, Sky Sports 3D (U.K.), Sportsnet HD (Canada)

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