Villa look to upset weakened United

Manchester United are without six senior stars – including Rio Ferdinand – as they looked to regain top spot in the Premier League by beating Aston Villa at Old Trafford today.

With Ferdinand joining Nemanja Vidic on the sidelines, John O’Shea and Jonny Evans are paired together in central defence, while Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo are named up front, with young striker Federico Macheda among the substitutes, as United look to avoid a third successive league defeat for the first time since 2001.

Villa also have their injury problems, with Emile Heskey among those missing from a side that has Nicky Shorey at left-back for the first time since January.

Man Utd: Van der Sar, Neville, O’Shea, Evans, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Fletcher, Ronaldo, Giggs, Tevez.

Subs: Foster, Park, Welbeck, Gibson, Martin, Macheda, Eckersley.

Aston Villa: Friedel, Luke Young, Cuellar, Davies, Shorey, Milner, Petrov, Barry, Ashley Young, Carew, Agbonlahor.

Subs: Guzan, Delfouneso, Knight, Salifou, Reo-Coker, Gardner, Albrighton.

Referee: Mike Riley (Yorkshire).

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