Aston Villa vs. Manchester United: Date, Time, Live Stream, TV Info and Preview

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent INovember 8, 2012

BRAGA, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 07:  Robin van Persie of Manchester United celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Group H match between SC Braga and Manchester United at the Estadio AXA on November 7, 2012 in Braga, Portugal.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

Manchester United can strengthen their lead atop the Premier League with a win against a struggling-but-talented Aston Villa squad on Saturday at Villa Park.

United are one point ahead of Chelsea after defeating Arsenal 2-1 at Old Trafford last weekend, while Villa are just one spot ahead of the relegation zone with a four-point lead over Reading.

Sir Alex Ferguson's squad is entering one of the easier parts of its league schedule with upcoming matches against Villa, Reading, Queens Park Rangers, West Ham and Norwich City before a December 9 showdown versus rivals Manchester City.

It's important that United take full advantage of this because they cannot drop too many points to inferior teams and win the title. Just one more point last year would have given them another title, but they lost on goal difference to City.

Let's look at a preview for this match.


When: Saturday, November 10 at 12:30 p.m. ET

Watch: Fox Soccer, Sky Sports

Live Stream: Fox Soccer 2Go

Where: Villa Park, Birmingham, England


Most Important Player to Watch

I don't even think Manchester United fans expected summer signing Robin van Persie to play as well as he has in the early part of the season.

The former Arsenal striker has eight goals in 10 league appearances, including the opening goal in last week's important 2-1 victory over the Gunners.

If Aston Villa are going to have any chance of earning at least a draw in this match, they cannot allow Van Persie to have many shots on goal. He must be defended well or Villa have little chance of earning a point or more from this game.


Key Matchup: Christian Benteke and Darren Bent vs. United back four

Aston Villa have scored just eight league goals this season, which is the third-lowest total of any club in in the Premier League.

The club's two best forwards are Darren Bent and Christian Benteke, and for Villa to win this match, these two players must put pressure on the United back four and create scoring chances.

Benteke and Bent both have two league goals this season, and are the only Villa players who have scored more than once this season.

They will be under a lot of pressure to shine on Saturday, but Bent is definitely capable of scoring a clutch goal against a top club such as United.


What They're Saying

The scoring burden may fall on Benteke on Saturday if Bent is unable to play because of an injury.

Per Ian Edwards of ESPN Soccernet:

Paul Lambert believes the next 48 hours will determine the extent of the ankle injury which prevented Darren Bent from being part of victory against Sunderland at the weekend.

Later in the article:

"Is it serious? I don't know yet. He will get treatment on it during the week and we will see. I know it was serious last year when Darren hurt the ankle," said Lambert.

Defeating Manchester United would be very difficult for Aston Villa without Bent because of the squad's lack of attacking depth.



Manchester United win 3-0