Aston Villa head to Old Trafford hoping to take advantage of Manchester United's current injury crisis and end their appalling League record against the Champions.
Sir Alex Ferguson is without a host of first-team players and may once again be forced to play at least two midfield players in the back four. However, he will be able to call upon Nemanja Vidic, as the Serbian centre back has recovered from flu in time to face the visiting Villains.
The United manager feels Vidic's return could be crucial in dealing with the height problems caused by Villa's frontmen, John Carew and Emile Heskey.
"Villa have two big lads up front in Emile Heskey and John Carew, but Nemanja Vidic is the one player who can cope with all that - we're delighted that he's back,"
United's makeshift defence fared well enough in their midweek win over Wolfsburg, but hat-trick hero Michael Owen could once again find himself on the bench despite his European glory, as both Dimitar Berbatov and Wayne Rooney are available again.
Martin O'Neill will be desperate to end his side's terrible record against United which has seen them fail to win any of their last 27 League outings against the Red Devils, including losing 12 of the last 13 games.Team News:
United will be without the bulk of the first-choice back line with Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans and Gary Neville all injured and both Wes Brown and Edwin van der Sar doubtful, making Vidic's recovery from flu all the more timely.
Both Da Silva twins, Rafael and Fabio, are still injured as well as John O'Shea and long-term absentee Owen Hargreaves.
The star of last season's fixture, Federico Macheda will not be able to repeat his last-gasp heroics as he is out with an ankle injury.
Ferguson should be able to call upon Ryan Giggs, who was rested in midweek, as well as Ritchie de Laet who is ineligible in Europe. Up front, the attack should be bolstered by the return of messrs Rooney and Berbatov.
Villa's medical staff are far less stretched with no new injury troubles to report and James Collins is back in training after three weeks out.
However, Curtis Davies and Wilfried Bouma are still out and Craig Gardner is doubtful.Likely Line-Ups; Star Man;
Man Utd (4-4-2)
Kuszczak; Fletcher, Carrick, Vidic
, Evra; Valencia, Gibson, Scholes, Giggs; Rooney, Berbatov.Aston Villa (4-4-2)
Friedel; L Young, Dunne, Cuellar, Warnock; A Young, Milner
, Petrov, Downing; Agbonlahor, Heskey or CarewExtraFootie's Prediction:
Man Utd 2-2 Aston Villa. A full-strength Villa side could have enough to stretch the Champion's cobbled together defence. The pace of Agbonlahor combined with the power of either Heskey or Carew can cause plenty of trouble to United, who mightn't have things their own way at Old Trafford this afternoon.