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Manchester United vs Aston Villa: The starting XI

by Tom Newbold

What’s your starting XI? Discuss here

If results go Manchester United’s way, then Monday evening’s game against Aston Villa could be the match that wins them the title. Either way, Sir Alex Ferguson will be looking to pick a strong team to gather the all-important three points.


David de Gea: De Gea has been garnering plenty of plaudits this week, and is arguably in the form of his life.

RafaelThe little Brazilian can be expected to start at right-back despite being partly at fault for West Ham’s opener on Wednesday.

Rio FerdinandWith so many centre-back options it is hard to predict Ferguson’s choices but he will probably go with experience and form.

Nemanja VidicUnited’s captain and long-standing partner of Ferdinand is likely to again be selected alongside him on Monday.

Patrice Evra: It is hard to see beyond consecutive starts for Evra until the title is sewn up.

Antonio ValenciaThe Ecuadorian’s better performance on Wednesday last week may mean he is given a chance to build on that against Aston Villa.

Michael Carrick: Carrick is one who, like Evra, is surely going to start every game until the title is reclaimed.

Tom Cleverley: It feels like time for Tom Cleverley to return to the starting line-up after several matches absent. His natural forward moving instincts could be vital for successfully linking the midfield and attack.

Ryan Giggs: If not selected in central midfield, then Giggs is certainly an option to start out wide against Villa. His experience and consistent delivery could be vital.

Shinji KagawaSubstituted off on Wednesday evening, the in-form Japanese player is likely to get a chance again on Monday.

Robin van PersieTwo goals in two games now for van Persie is a decent return after his drought. He will be looking for more on Monday with Suarez still one ahead of him in the chase for the Premier League Golden Boot.

Aston VillaFormation

Shinji Kagawa’s recent form means Sir Alex Ferguson may turn to a 4-4-1-1 formation on Monday with Kagawa just behind Van Persie.

A selection for Tom Cleverley in midfield could be absolutely vital in ensuring good combinations between Kagawa and the midfield.

Wayne Rooney may well be dropped after an abject performance and the improved form of Kagawa, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him starting either.

What’s your starting XI? Discuss here

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