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United v Villa - Third Time Lucky?

So, the Carling Cup final will be contested tomorrow between Manchester United and Aston Villa. A year ago, one would have said that Villa are the best possible opponents for Manchester United, having failed to beat us for 14 years - but since then, Villa won at Old Trafford and claimed a draw at Villa Park and in both games United had serious difficulties with breaking down a stubborn defence.

And that's what we can expect tomorrow: determined defending and quick counter-attacks. It is hyped up but I would be surprised if it ended up a classic: I think it will more likely resemble last season's final which was, for the most part, a borefest...

Last time these two teams met in a cup final we lost 3-1 despite lining up with one of the best teams of the club's history. Yet Saunders, Atkinson and co. beat us 3-1 in a game we never looked like winning after going behind in the 25th minute. That was a sickening blow back then but we had the last laugh, winning the Double that season.

This time around any kind of double is unlikely although theoretically possible. But let's face it: this is our best chance of silverware. The victory over Manchester City was hugely satisfying yet it won't be worth anything if we do not end up winning the thing.

Will United be third time lucky, then? The previous two games taught us not to underestimate Villa though this time we'll have Nemanja Vidic alongside Jonny Evans, a pairing that's stronger than either of the two fielded against Villa this season. Fergie will surely field a 4-3-3 again, Scholes, Fletcher and Carrick behind a front three of Valencia, Rooney and Park.

The boss hinted at resting Rooney but it's unlikely to happen: we need this trophy a lot and we could not beat Villa this season even with Rooney in the side, what chance we have without him?

We are back at Wembley, though, which is cool - it's high time to score there in a major final for once 'cause the last two ended 0-1, 0-0... depressing. Let's hope it will be better this time.




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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday February 27 2010

Time: 2:28PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Cmnn Villa.
Tr1dent
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27/02/2010 15:34:00

UTV
Doug4ever
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27/02/2010 16:21:00

I think in a one off must win match United have the edge (even with injuries) because Villa lack the firepower to force a victory when needed. Although if you go gung ho you just might get caught on the counter attack. Should be entertaining. Good luck
Phartman87
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27/02/2010 17:00:00

interesting that United are so keen to win this when they treat the competition with contempt in the earlier rounds!
merlin
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27/02/2010 19:28:00

yeah Merlin, now that we are out of ALL the competitions, this is our only hope. Wait a minute, we are actually still in the race for the European and domestic honours, silly me!! And we do not treat the competition with contempt just because we blood a few youngsters.
elvido
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28/02/2010 08:21:00

Come on merlin - have you ever heard of a team wanting to lose a cup final? As a chelsea fan - you'll know it isnt a priority for the top 4, but if you make the final why wouldnt you be keen to win?
tuscan3000
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28/02/2010 17:02:00

Congratulations guys, your guys did just about enough and Rooney, as always, was superb. He was the real difference between the teams. In retrospect letting Ronaldo go was a genius move, 80 mill and Rooney not only steps up but imo has surpassed him.
Villan Of The North
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01/03/2010 14:08:00

The lack of fire power showed for villa Grrrr!! :(
Blitz
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01/03/2010 17:57:00

well done yesterday , a great game with end to end football , and a great finish .
kimbo
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01/03/2010 20:06:00

Roo I hope will be just like Neville and Scholes - at Utd for rest of his playing career - he could even be a future manager ;)
niteworlok
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01/03/2010 21:41:00

 

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