Manchester United - RVP injury a blessing in disguise ?

Van Persie United 2

Ahead of Manchester United’s visit to Villa Park later today, the Red Devils were fearing the worst after the news of Robin Van Persie’s latest injury setback.

The Dutchman has been in solid form this season, scoring 7 and assisting 2 of Manchester United’s 22 Premier League goals this season. In fact, in statistical terms, United’s number 20 has participated in over 40% of the team’s goal tally this term.

Over the past few games, especially against Newcastle in the absence of Wayne Rooney, the over-reliance on van Persie has had a detrimental effect on Manchester United's other attacking options, and RVP found himself dropping deeper and deeper. However, with his expected monthly layoff, Villa Park couldn’t be a better place for his fellow attackers to grab the initiative and kick start their own seasons.

Villa Park has been a home-away-from-home for Manchester United in recent seasons, with the Old Trafford outfit avoiding defeat on their last 18 visits - Manchester United's last defeat coming in 1995. And to add insult to injury, Rooney’s return won’t be a welcome sign for the hosts, as he has scored 8 times in the last 10 meetings between the sides.

With Van Persie out, an expected change in formation could finally see Moyes break his conservative shackles and select a more flowing front line, instead of the rigid formations of recent weeks.

The Scot is likely to name the unchanged back four that kept a clean sheet in midweek, with the possibility of Evra replacing Buttner, two holding midfielders in Jones and Cleverly with the attacking trio of Nani, the ever-creative Kagawa and the impressive Januzaj supporting Rooney up front.

Should Moyes be brave enough to select this inter-changing front four, then I can’t look beyond Manchester United extending their incredible Villa Park run.

Prediction: Aston Villa 0-2 Man Utd

Will Manchester United claim a much needed 3 points in the absence of RVP ?

image: © Doha Stadium Plus

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