Manchester United vs. Aston Villa: Red Devils Will Clinch Title on Monday
Mark it down.
After Manchester City blew a lead and gave up three goals in the span of seven minutes on Sunday, losing 3-1 against Tottenham, United need only a win on Monday to clinch the league title. Facing Aston Villa, currently 17th on the table, it's hard to imagine that the Red Devils won't get that win.
It's a perfect scenario for Manchester United, really. The game is at Old Trafford and it's the only game in the Premier League on Monday (and on ESPN2 to boot, meaning a broader American audience will get to see the title won).
The team can wrap things up early, without all of the stress and madness that accompanied the final game of the season last year.
And with the Champions League semifinals this week, clinching the league title on Monday will ensure the team is popping bottles of champagne rather than lamenting a disappointing UCL tournament.
It's hard to imagine anything but a win for United. The Red Devils haven't lost to Aston Villa since 2009, with four wins and two draws in the last six meetings between the teams.
Plus, the Villans have allowed 60 goals this season (only Reading have allowed more with 65), while the Old Trafford outfit have scored 75 goals on the year. That's the most in the Premier League.
Still, United can't look past Villa, a team battling to remain free of the relegation zone, just three points clear of Wigan. And with in-form striker Christian Benteke (15 goals in 30 league games), Villa are more than capable of finding the back of the net.
United aren't exactly in their finest form in April, with just one win in their past four games (including a draw and two losses). However, Robin van Persie finally broke his scoreless streak against West Ham with an equalizing penalty kick, which is a positive sign for this United team.
Now is the time to wrap up the title. Manchester United face Arsenal on Sunday and Chelsea on May 5, two teams fighting for their Champions League lives and squads more than capable of beating United.
If United draw or lose on Monday and lose to Arsenal and Chelsea, the title race might once again get interesting with two games remaining. It's a long shot for certain, but can you imagine if City were suddenly just five points back with two games to go?
It would certainly add some excitement to the proceedings—excitement that the Red Devils surely want to avoid.
And they will. I'm hardly going out on a limb predicting the EPL's best team this season will beat one of the league's worst squads in Aston Villa on Monday. Prep the celebration, boys—a title is about to be won.
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