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Aston Villa v Manchester United Goalscorer Preview: Dimitar Berbatov

Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov is a heavy favourite to bag a goal in the game against Aston Villa this Saturday and add to his tally of six Premier League goals.

Wayne Rooney’s absence from the team this season has meant extra responsibility for Berbatov and he seems to be rising to the occasion. His form and creativity is finally starting to justify the £30 million the club spent to sign the striker from Tottenham Hotspur.

The Bulgarian has scored seven goals in all competitions so far this season, which is still ten goals away from his complete count of 17 for all of the 2009/10 campaign. The main difference is that he seems to be playing in a more complete way and with a smile on his face.

Berbatov is very good at holding the ball up in attack. This allows United attacking midfield players to get forward and buys the team more time. This part of his game suggests Sir Alex Ferguson will deploy a 4-5-1 system against Aston Villa, similar to the one used in the mid-week 0-0 draw at Manchester City.

This system would allow United to keep a better percentage of the ball in midfield before distributing wide to the wingers. If Berbatov is the sole striker, he will have no reason to drop into the midfield. This means he should always be in the box for any crosses and looks a great price at 5/1 to score first and 13/8 to score at any time.

The Bulgarian forward has always been a player that thrives on confidence. His goal tally of six this season may not appear impressive on paper but Berbatov has produced some important performances when it matters such as his brilliant hat-trick in the 3-2 win over Liverpool at Old Trafford. He is 50/1 to repeat this feat against Aston Villa.

He will also be fully aware of Wayne Rooney’s imminent comeback from an ankle injury. Scoring an important first goal in this game would send out a message and will give Sir Alex Ferguson a headache over when to bring Rooney back into the team.

Ferguson is one of the most experienced managers in history and he should flood the midfield against a good Aston Villa side. Berbatov is a better candidate to lead the attack than Javier Hernandez and naturally he should have the most chances to score first in the United team.



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