Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Prediction: Aston Villa vs Manchester City

Verdict: Manchester City win & under five goals

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

Hoping to find a route to the top of the Premier League table in midweek, Manchester City will make the trip to Villa Park on Wednesday night.

Aston Villa

Starting with the hosts, marking their return from November’s international break with a new boss in their dugout, Aston Villa certainly appear to be enjoying life under Steven Gerrard. While some in their camp might have been looking over their shoulder at the drop zone, the now-former Rangers boss once again saw his side impress over the weekend. Finding a way to build off of their 2-0 victory against Brighton, the Clarets were last seen on Saturday landing a 2-1 win away at Crystal Palace. Now sat within touching distance of finding a route into the top-half of the table, Villa will still know that they face a stern test on Wednesday night. Making their return to the Midlands in midweek, it should be noted that they have lost each of their last seven straight meetings against the defending champions, a run that stems back to 2015. Likewise, Gerrard’s new squad have taken just a single point off of City from any of their last five Premier League meetings at Villa Park.

Team News

Still dealing with a thigh injury, Bertrand Traoré will once again miss out on Wednesday night. Likewise, fellow winger and Egypt international Trézéguet is not likely to feature.

Landing a 2-1 win away at Selhurst Park over the weekend, Steven Gerrard could be tempted to name the same starting XI here.

Manchester City

As for the visitors, managing to make up some ground in the title chase over the weekend, the mood in Manchester City’s camp should be at a red-hot high. Putting in what was a largely routine display on Sunday afternoon, the Sky Blues landed a 2-1 win against West Ham at the Etihad. Really impressing many as they managed to secure a turnaround 2-1 victory against French giants PSG on Champions League duties last week, Pep Guardiola’s side will be looking to lay down another marker here. With Chelsea’s lead at the top of the table now cut to just a single point, the defending Premier League champions are enjoying another purple patch. Booking their spot in the knockout stage of this year’s Champions League, City have won each of their last five matchups across all formats. Bagging at least a pair of goals in each of those five victories, it appears that Wednesday’s guests are really starting to find top gear.

Team News

Both missing out on Sunday’s 2-1 win against West Ham, Manchester City are still sweating over the fitness of both Jack Grealish and Phil Foden.

Returning a positive COVID-19 test earlier in the month, Kevin De Bruyne is likely to once again miss out on Wednesday night.

Key Factors to Consider

    • When the two sides last faced off back in April, Manchester City picked up a 2-1 victory at Villa Park.
    • Manchester City have won each of their last seven straight meetings against Aston Villa, a run that stems back to 2015.
    • Likewise, Villa have picked up just a single point from any of their last five Premier League meetings against City on home soil.
    • Five of the last six meetings between Wednesday’s opponents have finished with over 2.5 goals.
    • The Sky Blues have won each of their last five matchups across all formats, scoring at least a pair of goals in each victory.

    Conclusion

    While Aston Villa might have managed to find a real boost since bringing Steven Gerrard in, there is no doubt that Wednesday’s hosts face a stern test on home soil. With Manchester City claiming a deserved 2-1 win against Champions League outsiders West Ham over the weekend, the defending champions have started to find top gear. In the midst of a five-match winning run, a run highlighted by their 2-1 victory against PSG last week, the Sky Blues will be looking to lay down another marker here. Given their rampant record against Gerrard’s new squad, we’re backing an away victory for a high-flying City here.

    Verdict: Manchester City win & under five goals

    Best Odds: 8/11

    Bookmaker: Unibet

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Tom Dunstan


    Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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