The case for a rare Villa win over Man Utd is surprisingly good

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Over the past three seasons, collecting a league double over Aston Villa has been as easy as tying their boot laces for Manchester United, and if there was one club the Red Devils would wish for to keep their winning streak alive it would be Paul Lambert’s side.

But, are Aston Villa completely unbackable at 5/1 at home to hand Louis van Gaal his first defeat for six matches? Not necessarily.

Villa’s history of winlessness against the Old Trafford club is far reaching, dating back to a Gabby Agbonlahor-sealed 1-0 win over United in 2009. Since then, the Midlands club have claimed just two points from the Manchester rivals in nine outings. Even David Moyes beat them 7-1 across last term’s two fixtures.

Yet there is reason for hope this time around. The claret and blue wearers have developed into something of a thorn in the side to the top clubs under Lambert and there’s certainly enough of a crack in the United backline for the 6/1 top 10 hopefuls to exploit.

Last season, Villa secured shock wins while hosting Manchester City and Chelsea and they travelled to Arsenal on the opening day expecting defeat, yet returned with the points.

This term Liverpool are another of the league’s elite that have come up empty handed against Lambert’s counter-attacking culture and the price on Manchester United experiencing a loss is certainly worth a gamble.

Against Brendan Rodgers’ side, United’s defenders were repeatedly exposed as leaden-footed statues by the incisive runs in behind by Raheem Sterling.

In Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann, Villa have a pair of similarly-minded attackers that can cause sloths like Phil Jones, Jonny Evans and Michael Carrick problems by forcing them to spin round and run towards their own goal.

Of course, beating David De Gea is proving difficult at present, but if any side has the ability to recreate the chances Liverpool fashioned it’s the counter-loving Villans. All they need to do is shoot to the side of the Spaniard.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.