Saturday, February 27, 2021

Prediction: Manchester City vs Aston Villa

Verdict: Manchester City win by 2+ goals

Best Odds: 8/11

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to extend on their purple patch in midweek, Manchester City will welcome a returning Aston Villa to the Etihad on Wednesday evening.

Manchester City

Starting with the hosts, eventually putting on what was another rampant display over the weekend, there is no doubt that the mood in Manchester City’s camp will be at a season-high. Claiming a rampant 4-0 win against Crystal Palace on Sunday night, the Sky Blues have skyrocketed their way up that table and many have tipped them as the leading contender in the title chase. Really managing to turn a real corner after that 2-0 loss against Tottenham at the end of November, Pep Guardiola’s side suddenly find themselves enjoying a hugely impressive 15-match unbeaten run across all competitions. In fact, including that thumping victory over the Eagles last time out, the former Bayern Munich boss finds his side enjoying an eight-match winning run. Smelling a chance to potentially climb to the top of the table in midweek, Guardiola should also be excited by his side’s continued performances at the back. Recording another clean sheet at the Etihad over the weekend, City have gone over 400 minutes without picking the ball out of their own net on home soil.

Team News

Manchester City have confirmed that both Aymeric Laporte and forward Sergio Aguero will once again be missing on Wednesday evening.

However, in a boost for the Sky Blues, Kevin De Bruyne looks to have overcome concerns over a minor ankle issue.

Aston Villa

As for the visitors, given an extended break after a COVID outbreak in their camp earlier in the month, Aston Villa’s first-team stars should be relishing a return to action in midweek. While their youth starlets might have eventually fallen to a routine 4-1 defeat against a stacked Liverpool squad in the FA Cup 12 days ago, Dean Smith’s side have not made a Premier League appearance since New Year’s Day. Holding at least a trio of games in hand over the teams above them in the table, the former Brentford boss saw his side gain a string of plaudits when opening the New Year. Despite falling to that controversial 2-1 defeat away at Old Trafford in their last top-flight outing, that was Villa’s only Premier League loss in their last six contests. While some around the Midlands are whispering that their side could mount a genuine European charge this season, they will face a stern return to action at the Etihad. Villa have failed to win any of their last nine straight meetings against City, losing eight of those contests.

Team News

Making their first Premier League appearance since New Year’s Day, Dean Smith appears to have a full squad to choose from at the Etihad.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Manchester City are unbeaten in each of their last nine straight meetings against Wednesday’s guests, winning eight of those matchups.
  • Including a 4-0 win against Crystal Palace over the weekend, the Sky Blues are enjoying an eight-match winning run across all formats.
  • Aston Villa are making their first Premier League appearance since New Year’s Day.
  • Three of Villa’s last four top-flight matchups have seen over 2.5 goals by the final whistle.
  • City have kept nine clean sheets in the Premier League this season – their most after 17 games of a single campaign in the competition.

Conclusion

While Aston Villa might have gained a string of plaudits before entering an extended break, Dean Smith’s side face a hugely difficult task when they return to action in midweek. Not making a Premier League appearance since New Year’s Day, Villa are up against a Manchester City squad who find themselves enjoying a real purple pacth. Picking up what was a routine 4-0 romp against Crystal Palace at the Etihad over the weekend, the Sky Blues are suddenly seen as a leading title contender this season. Making a string of improvements at the back and enjoying a very impressive eight-match winning run across all formats, we’re backing another home victory for Pep Guardiola’s high-flyers on Wednesday evening.

Verdict: Manchester City win by 2+ 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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