Manuel Pelligrini’s side will be raring to go this weekend at Villa Park after their exceptional win over rivals Manchester United. City played really exciting attacking football at a high tempo, which saw United’s midfield simply brushed away. On the other hand, Aston Villa managed, finally, to keep a clean sheet in a 0-1 win away at Norwich in their previous Premier League fixture. This was Villa’s first league clean sheet since Dec 8th 2012, when Villa drew 0-0 against Stoke. Paul Lambert will hope that his team can continue to produce performances like at Norwich, where they were able withstand substantial pressure.
City, although getting off to a decent start, will try to use the United win to really kick on this season and start to dominate. The new signings have definitely helped the squad – especially Navas – who gives them much needed pace and width in their team. Since the injury of David Silva, Samir Nasri has been able to really flourish and seemingly take more responsibility during the game.
Christian Benteke went off in the last game against Norwich due to a hip injury he suffered in the first half. Consequently, it gave Kozak his first opportunity, which he manage to calmly take by scoring the winning goal of the game with one of his first few touches.
For Aston Villa to get anything out of this game, Brad Guzan will have to make sure he is continues his current good form. He has recently made some incredible saves since taking the number one jersey off Shay Given and will be key for Aston Villa.
Gabby Agbonlahor has impressed this season, after providing 3 Premier League assists. In the absence of Christian Benteke, Agbonlahor must take responsibility and show leadership upfront to attack City’s goal.
Yaya Toure is the power house in midfield who can drive City on and on. He is able to set the tempo whilst dominating the midfield, allowing City to take control. He should be able to produce his incredible bursts which enable City to find gaps between Villa’s midfield and defence.
Manchester City captain and central defender Vincent Kompany has proven to be crucial to them already this season. Without Kompany, City look weak and vulnerable at the back. Villa have not struggled to score goals this season. Furthermore, last season Villa managed to score 69 league goals.
New signing James Okore is still out injured and it looks to be a long term injury which could see him out till the end of the season.
Leading Premier League goal scorer in 2013, Christian Benteke, will miss this fixture and could face up to 6 weeks out after injuring his hip.
Charles N’Zogbia is also expected to be sidelined after injuring his Achilles during pre-season.
David Silva will miss this game against Aston Villa, but he should be back to full fitness for Manchester City’s European clash against Bayern Munich next week.
- Manchester City scored 93 goals in their title winning season in 2011/12. Last season, however, they only managed 66, and lost the title to rivals Manchester United.
- Villa kept their first league clean sheet, last weekend at Norwich, since December 8th 2012
I expect Manchester City to be too strong for Aston Villa. The beginning of the season has been tough on Villa who do not currently possess the biggest squad that would enable them to rotate. Their match winner Christian Benteke is also out injured, which will definitely reduce the chance of Villa being as powerful in attack. They will certainly miss his ability to hold up and bring others into play so well. He has also shown this season that he is able to be clinical against the larger teams, who do not allow him many opportunities. A good example of this was Villa’s goal against Chelsea.
Manchester City’s midfield is extremely strong, especially with the current partnership of Fernandinho and Yaya Toure who have been in magnificent form the last few weeks. City also possesses multiple options from the bench to change the game, especially in advanced positions. After City’s previous game against Manchester United, looking at the way that they won, I think that Manchester City will win this 1-3.