Manchester City v Aston Villa – the preview

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The Villa boys travel to the Etihad this weekend, where the Manchester City players will be desperate to get their title bid back on track after a crushing defeat against Liverpool mid-week.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men are ten points behind the Premier League leaders Leicester City and cannot afford to drop any more points. Meanwhile, survival seems extremely unlikely for Aston Villa now. As you can see in this tip: City’s last three losses have all come against teams around them in the table.

The Villans are sitting at the bottom of the table and have lost five of their last six matches in all competitions.

Despite a managerial change, the team at Aston Villa have failed to turn the season around and Rémi Garde’s players are now staring at a future in the Championship.

Aston Villa was thrashed 4-0 by Manchester City in the FA Cup earlier this year and the away side will be looking to avoid a repeat of that pitiful performance.

Aston Villa’s record against Manchester City has been wretched ever since Sheikh Mansour took over and they will be desperate to pull off an upset. Although it is possible considering City’s recent form, the Villans are no better at the moment and an away win is very unlikely.

It will be interesting to see if the Aston Villa players can motivate themselves for this game since manager Rémi Garde recently claimed that his players are not giving everything on the pitch.

Team news:

There are no new injury concerns for Manuel Pellegrini. The Chilean will have all of his first team players fit for the game except Kevin De Bruyne, Samir Nasri and former Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph.

Yaya Toure is expected to start in midfield.

As for Aston Villa, Garde will be delighted to see Jack Grealish and Carlos Sánchez return to the squad.

Jordan Ayew is back already and should lead the line for the French manager.

Summer signing Adama Traoré continues his recovery from injury and the other absentees include Jordan Amavi and Libor Kozák.

Starting line-ups:

Predicted Manchester City starting line-up:

Hart

Zabaleta     Kompany     Otamendi     Clichy

Fernando     Fernandinho

Silva     Toure     Sterling

Aguero

Predicted Aston Villa starting line-up:

Bunn

Richards     Okore    Lescott     Cissokho

Bacuna     Westwood     Gueye

Veretout     Gil

Ayew

Key statistics:

The Citizens have scored at least three goals in seven of their last eight home matches against Aston Villa in all competitions.

Both Manchester City and Aston Villa have lost their last three Premier League games.

Manchester City won nine of their last ten home matches against Aston Villa in all competitions.

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