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Man Utd V Aston Villa at Old Trafford : Match Preview

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15 Apr 2012 14:47:28

Man Utd V Aston Villa at Old Trafford : Match Preview

De Gea relishing every game.

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is loving his first Barclays Premier League campaign. After a difficult start to his Red Devils career, De Gea has emerged as one of Sir Alex Ferguson's key men on their drive towards a record 20th championship. The Spain Under-21 international's resolve remains in tact, even after the 1-0 midweek defeat at Wigan. And, ahead of Sunday's Old Trafford encounter with Aston Villa, De Gea has revealed how excited he is about the thought of what lies ahead. "I am really enjoying it," he said. "We can't wait for each game and I want the Aston Villa match to come round as quickly as possible.

"There is a little way to go yet and we still have plenty of work to do. "But the dressing room is very positive. We intend to keep fighting and maintain that advantage." To that end, De Gea believes the shock defeat at Wigan might prove to be a good thing. After a series of sluggish displays, United were overcome by a Latics outfit who controlled long periods of the game. It provided a pretty stern reminder that victories cannot be taken for granted - a lesson De Gea is confident will be heeded. "It was a disappointment but sometimes games like that can be a wake-up call," he said. "It reminded us that anyone is capable of winning games in this league, against any opposition. "It will make us even more focused going into these last five games and make sure we carry on that battle for the title." It brought to an end United's eight-match winning run, and also represented their first Premier League defeat since the beginning of January. That loss at Newcastle provided the trigger for an amazing sequence of results, from which the Red Devils connected 34 points from a possible 36 - turning their status from potential runners-up behind Manchester City to champions elect. Part of the reason, De Gea notes, is stability at the back, where Jonny Evans has impressed alongside Rio Ferdinand and either Rafael or Phil Jones have been consistent at right-back. "Having the same players around doesn't just help me - it is the defenders themselves," said De Gea. "It is a real positive for them because you get that consistency and continuity, which makes it far easier." Ferguson has confirmed Paul Scholes will return for United in midfield, while Javier Hernandez's place is at risk after an ineffective display at Wigan. Portugal winger Nani will also hope to be a more central figure after making little impact on his return from an ankle injury.

Aston Villa newcomer Andreas Weimann is relishing his first visit to Old Trafford and hopes to help Alex McLeish's side pull off another shock result against United. The Austrian Under-21 player has made an instant impact since breaking into the Villa first team with the winner against Fulham and a spectacular goal in Monday's draw against Stoke. Now Weimann is hoping Villa can repeat their surprise win at Chelsea and draw at Liverpool when they face the Red Devils. He said: "We are all looking forward because Old Trafford is a brilliant place and I think we will go there positive. "They are the games as a young player you want to play in and I've never been to Old Trafford so to be involved will be brilliant. "Manchester United have been a top team for years and to go there is special. "But we are not going there thinking we are going to lose. We are going to try and get something out of the game. "It's not long ago that Gabby (Agbonlahor) scored the winner there so why not again? "We drew against a big club away in Liverpool and won at another in Chelsea so why can't we do it again." Weimann, a product of Villa's academy, is also targeting earning a first senior call-up from his country. He said: "That is a goal for me. I've played for the Under-21s and, to play for the first team of your country, is probably the biggest honour you can have. "I have to try and get into that team. There are World Cup qualifiers in September. I'll just keep playing here, as many games as I can, and that will help me." Villa boss Alex McLeish will check on the fitness of Chris Herd and Stephen Warnock. Herd suffered a head injury against Stoke while Warnock was substituted with an ankle problem. Charles N'Zogbia and Gary Gardner will be in contention to replace the duo if ruled out. Midfielder Fabian Delph has returned to training after his ankle injury when on loan at Leeds while winger Marc Albrighton is battling to overcome a thigh problem.


PA

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