David Moyes will have to run the gauntlet from fans even before the game starts with news of a "Moyes Out" plane protest planned leading up to the start of proceedings.
Here it is guys.... (via ITV) pic.twitter.com/2Cf8nQZUOK— Chef (@champ_ian) March 28, 2014
Already assured of their lowest-ever Premier League points total, United will be hopeful of a much-needed three points against a team that they have beaten in 10 of their last 11 visits to Old Trafford, per WhoScored.
Date: Saturday, March 29
Time: 12:45 p.m. GMT/8:45 a.m. ET
TV Info: BT Sport 1 and BT Sport 1 HD (U.K.)/NBC Sports Network (U.S.)
In Christian Benteke, Paul Lambert should have one of the most feared front men in the division.
The Belgian colossus burst onto the Premier League scene at the start of the 2012/13 season and gave virtually every defence the runaround with 19 goals in 32 Premier League appearances per ESPN.
Fast-forward a season, and it could be Emile Heskey we are looking at. Benteke's impact has been nothing like his debut season; only six goals since September (per WhoScored) tells its own story.
It's a problem that has spread throughout the side with just 33 team goals scored all season.
However, Villa do have pace in the shape of Gabby Agbonlahor on their left side, and he has more than enough about him to trouble Rafael and the covering Ryan Giggs.
United need to be boss of the midfield as this seems to be the area where most games are being lost at present. Without a "Roy Keane"-type player in the central areas, Moyes' side have become too lightweight, Wayne Rooney's energy and commitment notwithstanding.
Now that Robin van Persie has been ruled out for the foreseeable future, Rooney will revert to a more forward role tucked in just behind a recalled Danny Welbeck.
Youth versus Experience
Lambert will likely set his stall out with an attacking 4-3-3 formation, with his quick young midfielder providing able support to the front men.
Fabian Delph, Ashley Westwood and Leandro Bacuna are all under 25 years of age and are typical Lambert signings.
All are comfortable in possession, able to break at lightning speed and possess a high degree of technical ability.
They need to get in behind the double-holding midfielders that United will likely adopt for this one, per WhoScored, and that will be easier said than done.
But far from being the old stager, the Welshman continues to earn his place in the Red Devils' starting XI.
Chris Richards of the Daily Mirror noted what manager David Moyes thought that Giggs brought to his side:
The Premier League has seen some outstanding players, but because of his age and longevity at one club, Ryan has to stand out as the best.
[...] He’s a real specimen, an incredibly fit lad who he trains every day, looks after himself and eats the right things.
We all know he is a terrific player, but some of the things he does every day in training you can only marvel at... he's that good.
The Scot will be hoping that he brings all of that experience to bear on Saturday.
Although the clocks go forward for daylight saving time on Sunday, Giggs will need to turn the clock back, because he clearly no longer has the legs to outrun speed merchants such as Delph.
And with the game likely to be defined by who works the midfield areas to greater effect, allowing Villa to work the spaces could be fatal to United's chance to win.