MANCHESTER (Sporting Alert) — Manchester United will win the Barclays Premier League title tonight with a win over Aston Villa and manager Sir Alex Ferguson has named a reasonable strong team for the encounter at Old Trafford.
The manager, though, has left veterans Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic out of his team for tonight’s contest with Jonny Evans and Phil Jones pairing at center-back. Ferdinand starts on the bench, but Vidic is out completely.
“Nemanja Vidic is injured and Rio Ferdinand had a slight injury. Given the importance of the game, it would have been a gamble to start him,” Ferguson said.
“Phil Jones and Jonny Evans are great young players and they will relish tonight.
“Villa have some lively players in the team and they’re quick on the counter-attack, but we’ve got the right players for the right game.”
Antonio Valencia Michael Carrick, Ryan Giggs and Shinji Kagawa all start in midfield, with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie leading the attack line.
Meanwhile, striker Gabriel Agbonlahor returns to the Aston Villa starting line-up after being forced to miss last week’s clash with Fulham with a groin injury.
While Manchester United will be hoping to celebrate its 20th league title, Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert hopes to delay their celebrations for his own sake.
“I don’t want Manchester United to win the title against us, because I want us to try and win ourselves,” said Lambert.
“I don’t think our players will be nervy about it. I think they’ll go to enjoy it.
“If you don’t enjoy going there and playing in that environment then there’s something seriously wrong with you.”
Manchester United v Aston Villa Teams
Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Evans, Evra; Valencia, Carrick, Giggs, Kagawa; Rooney, van Persie.
Subs: Lindegaard, Ferdinand, Büttner, Cleverley, Nani, Hernandez, Welbeck
Aston Villa: Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bennett; Agbonlahor, Westwood, Delph, N’Zogbia, Weimann; Benteke.
Subs: Given, Clark, El Ahmadi, Bent, Holman, Sylla, Bowery
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Cheshire)