Manchester United: 4 Keys to Defeat Aston Villa and Win the League Title

Devil in a New DressSenior Writer IApril 14, 2012

WIGAN, ENGLAND - APRIL 11:  Javier Hernandez, Michael Carrick and Wayne Rooney wait to kick off after Wigan's goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester United at DW Stadium on April 11, 2012 in Wigan, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Following Manchester City’s 6-1 annihilation of Norwich City, the pressure of the English Premier League title race falls back on Manchester United.

The Reds host Alex McLeish’s Aston Villa at Old Trafford tomorrow knowing that nothing less than a win will suffice.

Here are four tactical moves that would ensure United victory over Villa and help United in their quest for a 20th league title.


1. Restore Paul Scholes to the midfield: And make sure that neither Ryan Giggs nor Phil Jones plays in that position again. Add Park Ji Sung to those names, too.


2. Bring back Nani and Tom Cleverley into the fold. While Ashley Young is the favourite to start ahead of Nani against his former club, Nani would bring more guile and flair to United’s decidedly bland brand of football.

The case for Tom Cleverley’s inclusion in proceedings is simple: United lack a link from center-midfield to the final third and have tended to force things through Antonio Valencia. Cleverley can help United add another dimension to their attack, by playing through the center.


3. Bring back Rafael Da Silva or Chris Smalling to right-back: And keep Phil Jones well away. Rafael’s performances in defence in the last few games has been a big factor in United’s steady rise to the top of the table. His link-up play with Valencia caused opposition defences all sorts of trouble, and his defensive work has shown some improvement.

Phil Jones, on the other hand, draws so much of the play to himself...and not in a good way. He leaves massive gaps in defence with his "forays" upfield and, as seen against Wigan, negates any positivity United show by forcing Valencia deeper and deeper to cover for him.


4. Rest Danny Welbeck and bring back Dimitar Berbatov: It’s amazing how everyone but the coaching setup at United have failed to see just how wasteful, limited and out of ideas Danny Welbeck is.

Yes, he is young and this is his first full season at United, but that is exactly why you ought to bring the experienced and prolific goal-scorer that is Dimitar Berbatov back into the fold.