Aston Villa host the champions on Sunday afternoon off the back of an impressive 1-1 draw away to Leicester in the EFL cup. The Villans are hovering just above the drop zone and will need a similar performance against Manchester City if they hope to gain any points.
Visitors Manchester City put on a first-half masterclass in their 3-1 win in the Manchester derby on Tuesday. They are hot on the heels of a stuttering Leicester and could leapfrog them in second if the Foxes fail to win on Saturday.
The managers will approach this game with different styles, but can the hosts hold on for any points? Check our predictions including our best bet here.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City – Premier League 2019/20
Where to Watch
Venue: Villa Park
Kick Off Time: 16:30 GMT
TV Channel / Live Stream: Tune in to Sky Sports Main Event channel from 15.00 GMT for pre-match build-up ahead of kick-off. This game will also be available on the SkyGo app so you can watch on your mobile or tablet.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City – The Form Guide
As with Aston Villa’s season so far, it’s been a week of ups and downs in the cups. Championship side Fulham beat Villa 2-1 in the FA Cup third round, but the result was played down by manager Dean Smith. He stated that the cup was not the clubs main priority and changed out a few players. He followed that defeat up with a strong 1-1 draw away to Leicester.
The team that drew with the Foxes was similar to one he fielded in their 2-1 league win over Burnley in the previous game. It seems to be the Villan's best team with the injuries they have at the moment. Jack Grealish has really stepped up his game with the absence of several key midfielders and is one to watch here.
In contrast, Manchester City cruised through their cup ties. They put four passed Port Vale before beating Man United 3-1 at Old Trafford. In the league, they have been finding their shooting boots again but did lose 3-2 to Wolves at the tail end of the year. City have lost five fixtures this season already. This is only one less than their previous two seasons combined (4 and 2).
Pep Guardiola has already given up on catching league leaders Liverpool and is focusing on finishing second. His side are the league top scorers with 56 in their opening 21 games – an average of 2.66 a match. Villa have one of the third-worst defence in the league and the Citizens will be looking to exploit that.
What is the Team News?
Aston Villa are missing several key players at the moment. Notably in goal in goal. Tom Heaton has been fantastic in goal for the Villans but has been ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury.
Striker, Wesley suffered a very similar injury meaning Villa are without their record signing for the remainder of the season.
Stand-in keeper Jed Steer also remains sidelined with a calf problem meaning third choice keeper Ørjan Nyland will play.
John McGinn remains sidelined for the foreseeable future, as is left-back Matt Targett.
Jonathan Kodja missed out against Leicester with an illness and is also expected to sit this one out. And Keinan Davis is not yet deemed fit enough to take part. This leaves Villa short upfront.
On the other hand, Guardiola has almost his entire squad at his selection. Long term absentees Leroy Sane and America Laporte are the only players missing.
Pep has been rotating his side quite a lot recently and to good effect.
Kevin De Bruyne is a player on great form so we expect to see his name on the team sheet, as well as record scorer Sergio Aguero.
Aston Villa Predicted line-up: Nyland; Guilbert, Konsa, Mings, Taylor; Luiz, Nakamba, Hourihane; Trezeguet, El Ghazi, Grealish.
Manchester City Predicted line-up: Ederson; Cancelo, Garcia, Fernandinho, Zinchenko; Mahrez, Rodri, De Bruyne; Bernardo, Sterling, Aguero
Aston Villa vs Manchester City Latest Odds
Villa last beat Manchester City back in the 2013/14 season. Since then, they have lost six of their seven meetings, and three times by a four-goal margin. The reverse fixture saw City win a comfortable 3-0 and they are a short 1/5 (1.2) to get another win here with Unibet.
Unibet have Aston Villa at a mammoth 13/1 (14.0) to claim all three points, and those odds are big for a reason. The draw is 7/1 (8.0) with Unibet, but with City in such good form, it’s hard to see them drop points in Birmingham.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City Score Prediction
This is typically a high-scoring fixture. Manchester City have a 13-0 aggregate score over the last three fixtures with Villa and with injuries plaguing the home side, a similar result is what we expect on Sunday.
Manchester City last failed to score in a match, 21 games ago. Sergio Aguero is back from injury and Gabriel Jesus has been finding form in his absence. City will cause all sorts of problems for Villa, who we expect to approach the game cautiously. The Villans have had some decent results and are very much flirting with relegation at that moment. If they could hold out for a draw, this would be a good result for them. However, we think that City’s attackers will be too good.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City Betting Tip
By taking direction from the odds, it’s clear that the most appealing markets are those in which Manchester City win, and by a decent margin. Despite their fighting spirit, Aston Villa won’t be able to cope with City’s slick, crisp passing. The Villans have been very much either hot or cold this season and have only drawn three matches from 21. We don’t think they’ll have enough in the tank to keep City and bay and so our best bet will be a City win.
Bearing all of this in mind, and Villas poor defensive record – we’re backing City to win by three or more.
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