Manchester United's Wayne Rooney celebrates after scoring the opening goal during their English Premier League soccer match against Liverpool at Old Trafford in Manchester, northern England December 14, 2014.
Phil Noble

The absence of any mid-week matches is proving to be a blessing in disguise for Manchester United FC and their manager Louis van Gaal. Invariably it will do some harm to the bottom line of the club at the end of the financial year but it is doing wonders to the morale of the players and supporters alike. They have won their last six matches on the trot. They will be hoping to make it seven when they travel to Birmingham to play Aston Villa this Saturday at 3 pm local time.

Last season under David Moyes Manchester United FC had to play too many matches for their developing side to perform at the optimum level. This season the balance seems to be getting better. The veteran coach is being able to prepare the young defensive side better during the week. He is getting plenty of time and opportunity to identify and rectify their mistakes. The more experienced but fragile attackers are also getting the requisite rest after every game to become ready and sharp for the next.

Michael Carrick has been a revelation this season. He has been able to anchor the midfield and provide adequate protection to the inexperienced back four. With Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney scoring regularly and Angel Di Maria expected to return after a hamstring injury it cannot get any better for them going forward as well. The fans are expecting a repeat of last weekend when they thrashed Liverpool FC three nil at home.

After a great start to their league season Aston Villa have gone down the league table with every passing month. Presently after 16 matches they are at the 13th position on the points table. In the last five matches across all competition they have won two, drawn two and lost the other.

In the last 10 encounters between the two sides Manchester United FC have won seven, drawn two and lost just a single match. In the last five matches at Villa Park, Manchester United FC have won three and drawn two. In the last corresponding meeting Manchester United FC won the match by three goals, a repeat of that score line should not surprise anyone.