Villa U21 v Man Utd U21: Cowans aims to finish with a flourish
Gordon Cowans has challenged his Villa side to finish the first phase of the Barclays U21 Premier League season with a flourish as they prepare to face Manchester United tonight.
Villa host United at Hinckley this evening before rounding off their Group 2 campaign against league leaders Tottenham at Villa Park next week.
A win over the Red Devils would virtually secure qualification for the Elite Group stage of the competition in the New Year.
But Cowans insists his side are determined to leapfrog Spurs into top spot.
The boys in claret and blue are also hoping to complete a double over United having won 1-0 in the reverse fixture at Altrincham thanks to Jordan Graham's penalty.
"They are two great games to finish with against Manchester United and Tottenham," said Cowans.
"It is important to get the win in the position we are in because we want to try and finish top of the group.
"We need to win these next two games to do that."
Michael Drennan and Graham Burke will be hoping to continue their lethal strike partnership tonight.
The Irish duo - who were both on target in the 3-2 win at Newcastle eight days ago - have scored eight times between them in their six games as a forward pairing this season.
The goals at Newcastle took Drennan's tally in all competitions to nine and Burke's to seven.
Some of the younger members of Villa's U21 side such as Graham, Josh Webb, Liam Bateman and Jack Grealish are likely to be rested tonight ahead of Wednesday's FA Youth Cup third round tie at Peterborough.
Follow all the action from tonight's game with our live audio and text commentary from 7pm.
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