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Friday 29 August 2014

Vidic back for United

Published 28/03/2014 | 15:37

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Nemanja Vidic has served his suspension for his red card against Liverpool

Captain Nemanja Vidic returns from suspension for Manchester United's Barclays Premier League game against Aston Villa on Saturday.

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Striker Robin van Persie is out with a knee injury while centre-backs Chris Smalling (hamstring) and Jonny Evans (calf) are doubts.

The Villa game starts a potentially crucial week for manager David Moyes.

If results go against them on Saturday, United could be 15 points adrift of fourth place with six matches left.

The Red Devils then take on all-conquering Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Tuesday night.

Moyes hopes his team can rebuild some of their confidence this weekend following their midweek defeat at the hands of neighbours Manchester City.

"We go into the Villa game knowing that we want to go into the Munich game in good fettle," he said.

"And we're looking forward to it because we played really well at West Ham and if we can follow up with a similar performance, I'll be more than happy.

"But then we play against maybe the best team in Europe in midweek, which we're looking forward to."

Villa, 12th in the table, look easy opponents for United on paper given their inconsistent form this year, although they did beat Chelsea two weeks ago.

Some Villa fans expected more from their season, but Moyes thinks his opposite number Paul Lambert is doing a good job with the midlands outfit.

"I think Paul Lambert has had a difficult job there. He's had to alter the budget there and change a little bit of the way Villa have maybe done it in the past," he said.

"For such a big club to be in that position - they're obviously looking for more. But Paul has done a good job in bringing in lots of young players, sticking with them and trusting them."

Villa midfielder Karim El Ahmadi is a doubt due to a thigh problem.

The injury forced El Ahmadi to come off in the first half of the 4-1 home loss to Stoke last Sunday and Villa boss Lambert has said the Morocco international is "struggling" ahead of the trip.

Forward Andreas Weimann had to depart the field around the same time in the Stoke match because of a dead leg but is expected to be available.

Lambert has every faith his players can bounce back from their heavy loss to Stoke.

Villa were brought down to earth after back-to-back wins when they were thumped by the Potters.

Lambert was in no doubt that his side's performance on that occasion was "not good enough", but he is feeling optimistic about the prospect of Villa putting in a completely contrasting display at Old Trafford.

He said: "We had a chat this week and I told them my feelings on it (the Stoke match).

"To be fair to the lads, they have trained well. There's no hangover from it.

"One thing I've found is that the lads have always come out and tried to rectify things, and I'm pretty sure on Saturday it will be the same."

Press Association

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