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Man United duel with Aston Villa and Southampton aim to sink Everton

| 20.12.2014

Manchester United look to continue their fine displays as they travel to Villa Park, but can they still crash the title challenging party? The Red Devils are now 12/1 to win the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Southampton will be trying to get back on track as Everton visit the south coast, and Swansea City head to Hull City.

Aston Villa v Manchester United
The Red Devils are on course for a sensational seventh successive league victory, the first time they have put such an excellent run of form together since 2011.

Louis van Gaal’s men are odds-on at 4/6 to beat hosts Villa and continue climbing the table, with formidable forwards Robin van Persie (4/1 to net first) and Wayne Rooney (9/2 to score last) back on top form.

Club record signing Angel Di Maria could be restored to the starting XI, while Radamel Falcao could also be unleashed to terrorise the Villans’ backline.

Captain Ron Vlaar may be fit enough to start for Villa against former mentor Louis van Gaal, and in attack the speed and power of Gabriel Agbonlahor and Christian Benteke could cause United problems on the break.

Benteke, in particular, could trouble the Red Devils’ shaky rearguard, and is 2/1 to score what would be his second goal since returning from injury anytime. On-loan midfielder Tom Cleverley will, of course, be ineligible against his parent club.

United have had troubles on the road this term, winning just two of their away trips, making the hosts 14/5 to cause an upset and steal a draw.

Southampton v Everton
The Saints and Toffees have been two of the most entertaining teams on show over the past two seasons and, having scored 52 league goals between them so far this term, are 12/5 to split the spoils.

Southampton have stuttered of late, however, and are without a win in their last six games across all competitions.

Until recent wobbles against Manchester City and Manchester United, Ronald Koeman’s side had lost just once at St Mary’s this campaign. This clash on home soil may then be the perfect opportunity to get back to business, with the hosts 29/20 to win.

Saints top scorer Graziano Pelle also needs to end his relative goal drought after striking just once in his last eight games, and is 5/1 to fire home first. Koeman will, however, be without Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama, who are both suspended, while Dusan Tadic misses out through injury.

Everton, meanwhile, arrive on the south coast after an important victory against QPR and are 9/4 to win again. Ross Barkley appears to have found his best position, operating in a deeper role, but his attacking bursts forward are still a threat. After netting last time out, the England international is 10/3 to be on target again anytime.

Hull City v Swansea City
The Swans are 8/5 favourites to defeat hosts Hull, as the Tigers have failed to triumph in any of their last nine outings. Steve Bruce’s boys have now dropped into the relegation zone and, having racked up just two goals in their past eight games, the visitors are 3/1 to win to nil.

In a further blow for Hull, centre back Michael Dawson could be sidelined for around a month with a torn hamstring.

Rampant Swans striker Wilfried Bony is 6/1 to bag a brace or better and benefit from Dawson’s absence by terrorising the Hull backline. After grabbing four goals in his past five games, brilliant Bony is also available at 6/5 to score anytime.



Holly Thackeray

Holly is a member of the content team, and can often be found on the sports desk writing about favourite topics Serie A and East Asian footballing nations. A recent darts convert, she is also a fully-fledged member of Barney's Army and a proud Leeds-born Manchester United fan.