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Ahead Of Our Game Against Aston Villa

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If at the beginning of the season someone told me that the thought of Aston Villa on a Monday night would have me feeling like a kid on Christmas Eve, it would have been hard to take them seriously. Yet here we are, about to take on a relegation candidate following a weekend of big games on SUPER SUNDAY, and I can barely keep the smile off my face.

Thanks to Tottenham Hotspur’s remarkable comeback yesterday afternoon, United are now three points away from winning the league. Whilst people have been saying for weeks that the title is wrapped up, with us maintaining at least a 12 point gap for months, it’s hard to explain the excitement of today. You would think that the idea of being champions would have sunk in by now, with United having lead the table since the first month or two of the season, but this one I would rank up there with 2006-2007 for how happy it makes me feel.

Of course, it’s not won yet, and it would be typical of United to balls it up tonight and draw. I suppose the point is that doesn’t really matter. We are winning the league one way or another. But I hope it’s tonight so we can get the party started and enjoy the remaining games of the season, whatever the result.

Aston Villa’s away form has been fairly decent and they have picked up points in 9 of the 16 they’ve played away from home. Still, they’re without their full squad, with Agbonlahor a doubt and Chris Herd, Marc Albrighton, Gary Gardner and Richard Dunne all confirmed as injured. Stoke and Sunderland both won on the weekend though meaning that just three points separates them from Wigan in the relegation zone. If United beat them by more than two goals tonight they will replace Wigan in the bottom three on goal difference. They’ve got everything to play for and it would be foolish to cross this off as three points.

At the same time, you imagine the manager will have been waiting to give this team talk all season, the one that gets us over the finishing line. You would like to think that this is the best prepared they will have been all season to get a victory and despite Villa being desperate for any points they can get, we will go out and get the job done.

Ashley Young is out for the rest of the season so you would imagine that Shinji Kagawa, who the boss was full of praise for following last week’s game against West Ham, will start on the left. Michael Carrick and Cleverley should be a must, but the latter has been left out regularly over recent weeks. Antonio Valencia looked better against West Ham and was even delivering dangerous crosses in the box, which should be enough to keep his place in the team. Ferguson wasn’t happy with Wayne Rooney’s last performance and subbed him off with 20 minutes to go. It will be interesting to see if Danny Welbeck or Chicharito replace him.

I can’t remember the last time I clock-watched this regularly. I cannot wait for kick-off. Come on United, get this bloody title won!

Mancini, are you listening? You better keep our trophy glistening. Said we’d be back in May, but April’s OK, walking in a Fergie wonderland.

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About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. wayne says:

    Rent boys run in is tough got a lot of games in short period of time against decent opposition

    25 Thu 20:05 Basel A UEFA

    28 Sun 15:00 Swansea City H PREM

    May 2013
    Date KO Opponent H – A Res Comp TV ATT Info
    2 Thu 20:05 Basel H UEFA

    5 Sun 16:00 Man Utd A PREM Sky

    8 Wed 19:45 Tottenham H PREM Sky

    11 Sat 12:45 Aston Villa A PREM Sky

    19 Sun 16:00 Everton H PREM

    Pre-Season 2013/14
    Date Local time UK time Opponent Where F – A TV
    Thu 23 May 19:30 01:30 (Fri) Manchester City St Louis

    Lol 4 days after the season finishes their pre season starts what a joke

  2. suhayl says:

    Im with Costas, seems the premature parties and celebrations have started already. Fatal error that, too long in the tooth to know, life and football can hit you where it hurts most when you least expect it.

    Lets get giddy, celebrate, start wanking and talk about guard of honours once, IF we’re 4 nil up. Not a second sooner. We re forgetting the absolute scrapes we ve had this season, scrapes past Qpr, Southampton,’ Reading, W ham etc etc at home too, couple of those games lucky to get wins. So tonight isnt just a formailty, turn up and its done. Villa are fighting for there lives. Benteke and Weimann gave us the run around early in the season. Agbonlahor and Nzogbia pace pace pace.

    Hence my nervous disposition and having seen it all down the years, am keeping my counsel. Ofcourse i hope all my worries, nerves ala Costas are misplaced. But until then………..

    Plus, Costas a question…….have we won a Monday Night game this season?? infact a Monday game, taking into account the FA cup replay.

    Apologies for the reserved, pessimistic caution. But i hate all this media and fans talking like its party time, celebrations, party poppers and balloons and all the rest. When the Job isnt fuckin done yet. NO COMPLACENCY!!!!!

    Full concentration lads. Full effort. Out the blocks early. No quarter given. one big push, one final effort, leave the bodies on the line……..and then and only then will i go mental

    C’MON UTD!!!!

  3. jeffkenyanred says:

    meant, then he ought to respect the team also.sorry for the many spelling errors

  4. Joffrey Baratheon says:

    Kanchelskis, exactly my thinking as well. Would hope we’ll be seeing Powell in the last few games but who know’s what Fergie has in mind. I think even if we beat Arsenal they will still make the top 4 looking at their other fixtures. I just would find it really amusing to see Chelsea and Terry running out in the Europa league next season. I’m a southern red and I can tell you that for some reason Chelsea just seem to attract wankers as fans? Everyone who lives on a council estate in the south supports Chelsea. I just can’t stand that club at all.

  5. Andromeda says:

    I know we are one win away from the title, I also know that City has lost the hope after the defeat at white heart lane, I also realize that we are at Oldtrafford and on the verge of celebrating the 20th title..but still we are up against a team that is desperately in need for more points, and to be honest they were quite handy in some of the recent encounters at this ground, so let us not rush into title celebration from the start, let us do it in style and stay focused for the 90minutes.Oh and I hope RVP can outscore the zombie, ah sorry Dracula.

  6. Bobby Charlton's combover says:

    We should win tonight but most like it’ll be a laboured effort like most games this season that has seen a few moments of quality make the difference and not start to finish dominance.
    There’ll be a party atmosphere from the start and it will be up to Fergie to keep them focussed on the match and not the fans.

  7. suhayl says:

    Agree Bobby Charlton’s combover.

    Scott mentioned also, we dont half make it hard for ourselves. The team always puts the fans through it.. So…bog runs for me, apologies to anyone having there tea.

  8. Joffrey Baratheon says:

    Yea Chelsea’s fixture list is tough, but I just worry Spurs will implode like they usually do. That win yesterday should have given them a lot of confidence for the run in though. Chelsea are a joke club as I don’t need to point out to anyone in here! They buy shed loads of players every summer even though half the time they don’t have a full time manager in so it’s clear who’s signing the players! Would like to see that prick Hazard running out in the Europa league next season as well. He completely whored himself out to suitors in the summer and clearly went to Chelsea for the money and no other reason. If he just came out and honestly said “They offered me the most money so that made my mind up” you could accept him for being honest about it at least. He’s one of them faces you want to hit as well, much like half his team mates. So yea in short I DON’T LIKE CHELSEA FC.

  9. Daniel88 says:

    De Gea
    Rafael Evans Vidic Evra
    Valencia Carrick Cleverley Nani
    Van Persie

    If Nani is not fit then push Kagawa left and play Hernandez up front with Van Persie.

    Who’s going to get the title winning goal ? … fitting for RVP to finish it with a blockbuster from 30 yards in the final minute.

  10. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    I desperately hope Spurs finish third. They are the club I least hate out of Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs. Plus they do deserve it and it would be priceless to see AVB rub it in the faces of those bitter west london mugs.

    As for who is getting the winning goal. To be honest, I pray we aren’t in a situation where we would have to get a winning goal/iconic goal kind of thing. I want us to end this match as a contest by halftime.

  11. Lee Martins Winner says:

    I agree with all the posters who are saying “dont get carried away, its a hard game, no celebrating till its done etc”

    However, I am fucking excited. for some reason this feels like an age since we could say we are champions. All of the shit we have taken. The countless Augeroooooooooooo! adverts. The fucking comments from all comers re bottlers, SAF out, One man team. I could go on and on but!

    This is OUR time. An oppotunityto RAM it own thier ABU throats will all the force of a KEANO tackle.

    I aint saying is party time, but I am saying WE WILL DO IT!

    Last seasons finish took away some self belief, now its time to get that back. Believe #20

  12. sixfeetunder says:

    Due to massive time differences, I’m gonna stay awake till for this game and I expect a godlike winning. Villa reckons they can give us a show. We’ll see how much of a show they can give us then.

  13. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    Agreed that we can’t start coming to conclusions right away as it’s not yet done. Also Villa even though they have a suspect defense, they are known to throw the kitchen sink at opponents and leave everything out there on the field in their games so this will by no means be a cakewalk.

    But I have to echo Lee Martin’s Winner’s sentiments. I am sure a lot of us cannot forget the pain we suffered last year. Constant re-runs of Aguero’s injury-time winner. I still remember the feeling I had as I lay flat on the floor for 20 minutes after Aguero’s winner. And this was in a house with a notorious Chelsea fan making sure I never forgot. It’s really REALLY hard not to get excited after City’s loss yesterday but again the fear is still present. I feel that we are well placed to win this title today. We can have absolutely NO EXCUSE for not winning this game outright tonight. There will be players on the pitch for us who have never tasted title glory. Those players HAVE to be the hungriest players out there. And then there will be players who have won titles but miss the glory effect on their lives. They will be equally as hungry. We HAVE to do it tonight. In front of our fans who suffered the most on the last day of last season. It’s set up perfectly. Just hope we don’t blow it. PLEASE. Wrap this up tonight.

  14. Lee Martins Winner says:


    I honestly do not think citeh will win thier next games, so i beleve we already have enough points. I think you will see us play with less nerves and morefreedm tonight.

    I hope RVP smashes a 20 yard left foot volley which drops over his shoulder from a carrick wonder ball. then sky will have an advert ready for next year!

    I rarely get over emoitional before a game, I tend to be the type of fan that erupts with passion during the game, but tonight I am not ashamed to say that I am fucking buzzing!

    Come on REDS lets believe!

  15. planetx6 says:

    Rooney deserves a start today for being our talisman for few seasons now even if he’s off end of season.


  16. Lawman10 says:

    Keep Rooney out he’s been playing crap, play kagawa behind rvb
    He deserves his place in the team.
    Rooney for me is just not at the races these days, does not deserve to play!!!!

  17. In David We Trust says:

    Is it me, or is this man shitty side one of the most overrated sides in PL history, I hear talksport once again says this is not vintage united, showing they were better at the OT fixture. How many defeatswill it take for ppl to realise man shitty are just not that good. United do need to improve, but for them to make the excuse what does that make the rest of the premiership. This current united side if it was playing man shitty last season, they would be still quiet comfortably ahead.

  18. WeAreUnited says:

    oh trophy number 20, I have been counting the days for about 2months, when many of us was suspicious and still had last year on their mind.

    oh title number 20, this season has introduced me my easiest last games and months of the season of my Manchester United “career”, I just have not felt any pressure since we moved up to a 10-15 points lead.

    og title nu,mber 20, how’s your sister? title number 21? can you introduce us, cause after all with your promision or not, we will get to know her !

    looking good guys! the game at Old Trafford, already 14 comebacks so nobody can stop us, Aston VIlla against us, 13 point lead, RVP to score a couple, the transitioin going on its way

    I JUST LOVE THIS TEAM, have been sayign so long, but TOP OF THE LEAGUE BABY! a strong United team, those ABU’s should shut up.

    it really tells about us, that even though we’re winning this in a pretty confident matter, the ystill can’t recognise us as a great team, we are THAT good!


  19. sixfeetunder says:

    I was gonna wait for a new post from admin to share this explosion of happiness inside of me but screw it, I’ll do it here.

    AT LONG LAST UNITED CROWNED CHAMPIONS! And that my friends was an ultimate world class display. Every single United player was almost without fault and every single one was hungry to beat the living hell out of AV and grab the win.

    Especially that RvP volley. I think it’s safe to say that has to be his best goal yet with United. Rooney’s assist was spot on fucking accurate and I couldn’t have asked for a better finish for the season. Hat-trick for RvP, an awesome 1 shot left footed volley, clean sheet and quite possibly, the Golden Boot for RvP.

    20th league title added to our books of history lads.


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