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Discussion Starter #1
Our last defeat before this unbeaten run of 5 games came against United- we will be hoping for a different outcome this time around as the teams meet again- this time at Villa Park where we have only been defeated once this season.

The game will be difficult as you would expect- but who knows what will happen in the Cup.

We will go into the game on a high after winning 4 of the last 5 games- but we will go into the game underdogs. We must not let this result get to us if we are to lose as we have an important fixture against Portsmouth in the Premiership just a few days later.

Anyway, I will be honest in my prediction:

Aston Villa 1
Vassell

Man Utd 3
Van Nistelrooy x2
Scholes
 

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ELLIS WANTS RUUD AWAKENING FOR UNITED

Chairman Doug Ellis has insisted revenge will be a major driving force for Aston Villa when they meet Manchester United in Sunday's FA Cup clash.

Ellis, who celebrates his 80th birthday next month, admits the cup clash between the two clubs at the same hurdle in 2001/2002 still leaves a bitter taste.

Villa led 2-0 midway through the second half only for substitute Ruud van Nistelrooy to score twice and inspire the Red Devils to a 3-2 success.

Ellis has come under fire for some supporters for his lack of investment in the squad - and manager David O'Leary will only have limited funds at his disposal during the January transfer window.

But he still wants to reward their continued loyal support of many followers with more cup success to follow on from Villa's run to the Carling Cup semi-finals.

Ellis said: "We would love to reward that support with success on the pitch. The backing is invaluable both in terms of providing vital revenue and, even more important, getting behind the team.

"Despite some disappointing results over the past year, the fans have remained steadfast with support which is really appreciated.

"Let's hope we can overcome Manchester United and embark on a run which takes us all the way to the Millennium Stadium in May.

"No-one needs reminding what happened when United came to Villa Park at the same stage two years ago. The memory of losing after holding a two-goal lead still leaves a bitter taste.

"Although we are under no illusions it will be any easier this time, the fans can be rest assured our players will be intent on revenge."
 

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JOHNSEN: WE CAN BEAT UNITED

Aston Villa defender Ronny Johnsen insists his team-mates can cause an upset by knocking his former club Manchester United out of the FA Cup on Sunday.

The Norwegian believes Villa's 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford earlier this month will have no bearing on their third-round tie.

Johnsen is confident that a shock is on the cards if they can repeat the performance which saw them knock Chelsea out of the Carling Cup.

He told the club's official website: "It's a new game and we need to produce the sort of performance that beat Chelsea in the Carling Cup. You also need a bit of luck in football."
 

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If we put our first team out against Man Utd, we can still get a good thumping. If we put our first team out against Portsmouth we stand a very good chance of three priceless points. What i'm trying to say is i'll be interested to see what squad we shall be putting out against United, I would rather sacrifice this game in order to have an almost fully fit squad against Portsmouth.

.........................Sorensen

De La Cruz ...Johnsen ..Dublin ...Rigewell

Hadji ........Hendrie ..... Kinsella ..Hitzlsperger

...............Allback ........Crouch

Bench

Postma
Mellberg
Barry
McCann
Vassell

This is what I would like to see. We are not going to win this trophy, I would quite happily sacrifice this game with that squad. Although I would say completely the opposite if we wasn't playing a premiership match 48 hours later. We have a Carling Cup Semi in a couple of weeks, (i'm going to the Reebok stadium! :) ) and i'd rather put emphasis on lifting that trophy and securing a satisfactory league position. Stuff the FA Cup for a year.

Aston Villa 0

Manchester United 2
Forlan, Scholes.
 

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Quite a reasurring read...


Write off Villa at your peril


by TONY BUGBY



MANCHESTER United would be foolish to dismiss Aston Villa’s prospects in Sunday lunchtime’s FA Cup, third-round tie in the Midlands.



Villa’s 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford four weeks ago proved a watershed for David O’Leary’s side.

That was a black day for the team from the Black Country. The result pushed Villa into the Premiership’s bottom three.

Since then, however, their fortunes have undergone a remarkable transformation, picking up ten points from a possible 12.

And Sunday’s impressive 3-0 home win against high-flying Fulham hoisted Villa into the top half of the table.

In the same period, Villa defeated Chelsea to claim a place in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup.

Bolton Wanderers stand between O’Leary’s team and a trip to the Millennium Stadium.

With United also in superb form — the Reds will be striving for a seventh straight victory in league and cup — it has the makings of an absorbing tie involving teams who have won the FA Cup a remarkable 17 times between them.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side ended the year as Premiership leaders and are safely through to the last 16 of the Champions League.

And, at this moment, United are on course to repeat the treble of 1999.

One man who will be doing his level best to dash United’s hopes is Juan Pablo Angel.

The Colombian striker is in a rich goalscoring vein, having found the net five times in as many matches since the defeat at Old Trafford.

Angel has scored 13 goals this season which has bettered his previous best total of 12 in 2001/02.

And the player is at last justifying the club record £9.5million Villa splashed out to Argentina’s River Plate in January 2001.

Apart from having no trouble finding the net — ten goals in a five-match unbeaten run — Villa have also shut up shop at the back.

They kept three successive clean sheets over the festive period against Blackburn, Leeds and Fulham.

Looking back to the not-too-distant past, the two teams were involved in a classic TV cup tie at the same stage two years ago.

And it provided edge-of-seat stuff for armchair spectators as well as those lucky enough to have tickets for the match.

Villa looked home and dry after building up a 2-0 lead with little more than 13 minutes remaining.

But within the space of five dramatic minutes United had scored three times to snatch an incredible victory.

The Reds would settle for something similar on Sunday, though not with such a dramatic finish.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
:)

We all know we are capable of giving United a tricky game - do you all remember the 1-0 reverse at Villa Park last season. We really did outplay United that day in the Premiership and deserved something from the game.

I haven't looked too much into this match as of yet- im unsure of the side United will be putting out but that doesn't matter- we just have to keep up the kind of form we have been showing of late.
 

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BARRY SEEKING REVENGE

Gareth Barry wants revenge like the rest of his Aston Villa team-mates against Manchester United although in hindsight he admits the 4-0 hammering in the league last month may prove to be the turning point of the season.

He said: "That turned the season around. We have gone on a good run since then. We beat Chelsea in the League Cup at our place so I am sure United will be very wary of us.

"We had a couple of chats after the United game and the manager wasn't too pleased but we know the things we needed to do to stop the rot and now things are going the other way for us.

"I definitely think we will be a different proposition to Manchester United than the last time. We are always a hard team to beat at home and we are playing good football at the moment."
 

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Discussion Starter #8
O'LEARY WAITS ON ANGEL FITNESS

Aston Villa manager David O'Leary will check on the fitness of leading scorer Juan Pablo Angel ahead of Sunday's FA Cup clash with Manchester United at Villa Park.

Thirteen goal Angel earned praise from O'Leary after defying an ankle injury to play 84 minutes of Sunday's 3-0 home victory over Fulham.

O'Leary will have to rotate his small squad as best as possible as Villa have to entertain Portsmouth in a Premiership encounter on Tuesday.

That could mean Dion Dublin, left out against the Cottagers because he was feeling tired after playing on Boxing Day, replacing Ronny Johnsen in defence.


Team (from): Sorensen, Delaney, Mellberg, Johnsen, Dublin, Samuel, Hendrie, McCann, Whittingham, Barry, Vassell, Angel, Postma, Ridgewell, Hitzlsperger, S Moore, Crouch.
 

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Well.. lost 2-1 in the end. Scholesys double bringing United back after Gareth Barry scored the opener.

To be honest i'm glad we are out. Was a crackin fight down the trinity lower tier.
 

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We gave them a good game and that's all that counts as far as i'm concerned. I would rather us just focus on the Premiership now (and the possible Carling Cup final we could reach).

Portsmouth at home on Tuesday- live on Sky Sports...:skull:
3 points required..
 
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