Team news, stats and prediction ahead of Aston Villa vs Man City in the Premier League on Wednesday; kick-off 8.15pm.
Aston Villa are again without Danny Ings as they host Manchester City in the Premier League.
England striker Ings has had a minor setback on an unspecified injury which kept him out of Saturday’s 2-1 win at Crystal Palace, and Villa boss Steven Gerrard says his recovery has been put on hold “for a few days”.
Trezeguet (knee) and Bertrand Traore (thigh) remain out, with the former set to return to U23 action next week and Gerrard hopeful that the latter will be back in training before Christmas.
Aston Villa provisional squad: Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, McGinn, Nakamba, Ramsey, Buendia, Watkins, Steer, Hause, Young, Tuanzebe, Sanson, El Ghazi, Chukwuemeka, Bailey, Davis, Luiz, Philogene-Bidace, Archer.
Former Villa midfielder Jack Grealish is hoping to prove his fitness to face his old club.
Man City‘s record signing will be given a fitness test along with team-mate Phil Foden after both missed recent games with knocks.
Kevin De Bruyne is not ready to return after suffering coronavirus, while defender Aymeric Laporte is suspended and Ferran Torres is a long-term absentee.
Manchester City provisional squad: Ederson, Carson, Steffen, Walker, Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Ake, Zinchenko, Gundogan, Rodri, Fernandinho, Sterling, Foden, Grealish, Mahrez, Silva, Palmer, McAtee, Jesus.
How to follow
Follow Aston Villa vs Man City in our dedicated live match blog. Highlights will also be published on the Sky Sports digital platforms and the Sky Sports Football YouTube channel after full-time.
Last time out…
Jones Knows prediction
I think Manchester City will win the Premier League this season.
But, I am happy to take them on at a very skinny 1/3 with Sky Bet here. Those odds imply there is a 75 per cent chance of a City win. I would have it closer to 60 per cent, so, we must act on that margin and back a positive Villa result.
Steven Gerrard has taken it back to basics. He has tightened them up no end. From averaging 1.8 goals against per 90 minutes this season under Dean Smith, Gerrard has closed the door, conceding just once in his two victories – an impressive defensive output backed up by an expected goals against figure of just 0.7 per 90 minutes and an average of just six shots conceded per game.
Stopping Manchester City will be Gerrard’s toughest managerial challenge of his career so far. He might just be capable of it.
The way to frustrate and malfunction this Man City machine is to defend deep, defend with expert organisation, possess a quality goalkeeper and players that can break quickly on the counter-attack. There are plenty of ticks to give Aston Villa hope.
Plus, there is plenty of relevance for the two fixtures between the teams last season where City won 2-1 and 2-0, however, both encounters were far from a cakewalk for Pep Guardiola’s side with a debatable offside call going against Villa at a key point late in the game of that 2-0 win at The Etihad.
Villa Park. Under the lights. Raucous atmosphere. I am with them.
SCORE PREDICTION: 1-1
BETTING ANGLE: Aston Villa to win or draw (5/2 with Sky Bet)
- Aston Villa have lost 12 of their last 14 Premier League meetings with Manchester City (W1 D1), conceding 39 goals against the Citizens in these games (2.8 per game).
- Manchester City have won 10 of their last 11 meetings with Aston Villa in all competitions (D1) since a 3-2 loss at Villa Park in September 2013.
- Aston Villa have lost 13 of their last 14 Premier League games against reigning champions, though they did beat Liverpool 7-2 at Villa Park last season. The last time they won consecutive home league games against the reigning top-flight champions was in April/December 1976 (vs Derby and Liverpool).
- Aston Villa won just one of their eight midweek (Tue, Wed, Thu) Premier League games last season (12.5%), beating Spurs 2-1 in May. In the 2019-20 campaign, the Villans won 44.4% of their midweek league games (W4 D3 L2).
- Manchester City have won each of their last 15 Premier League games played on a Wednesday, scoring 36 goals and conceding just six. Only Liverpool (21 on Saturdays between 2018 and 2020) and Man City themselves (17 on Saturdays between 2017 and 2018) have had longer winning runs on a specific day of the week in the competition.
Premier League Review: Was Carrick right to drop Ronaldo? Pressure on Rafa ahead of derby, Howe’s problems and title tips
On the latest Essential Football Podcast Alice Piper is joined by Sky Sports football writers Gerard Brand and Ben Grounds to look back on another big weekend at both ends of the Premier League table after Chelsea’s lead slipped following a 1-1 draw with Man Utd at Stamford Bridge.
PART 1 | Was Michael Carrick right to opt against starting Cristiano Ronaldo – and should United have signed him at all? United’s interim-to-the-interim manager’s tactics are assessed ahead of Ralph Rangnick’s arrival, questions raised over Chelsea’s attacking prowess, while will Arsenal fancy facing this United side next given their own form?
PART 2 | Where does another bad result at Brentford leave Everton boss Rafa Benitez ahead of the Merseyside derby in midweek? Do Liverpool have anything to fear? And the curious case of Marcelo Bielsa and Kalvin Phillips…
PART 3 | Newcastle show Eddie Howe the scale of the task ahead of him with a six-pointer against Norwich next up, Aston Villa grind their way to victory again – and with two points separating the top three, who’s going to win the Premier League?