Manchester City lock horns with Aston Villa on Wednesday night as Pep Guardiola’s side attempt to put an end to their three-match winless run in the Premier League.
The Sky Blues put in a commendable performance against Tottenham last time out, with a performance worthy of securing three points having controlled the majority of possession throughout 90 minutes. However, Spurs showed fight and resilience and stick to their style of play under Ange Postecoglou.
Manchester City found themselves one goal down early doors after the North London side countered directly from a corner. Jeremy Doku misjudged the bounce of the ball, allowing Heung-Min Son to race in behind and convert past Ederson.
However, the Spurs forward then, to his dismay, levelled the score line with the ball ricocheting off the South Korean into his own goal. Pep Guardiola’s side continued to control possession, creating chances, and showing why they are the most feared team in the country.
Phil Foden would eventually put the Cityzens ahead from close range after a delicate lay-off from Julián Álvarez in the 31st minute. Just like Manchester City did earlier in the affair, there was to be another equaliser, this time for the away side. Giovani Lo Celso, using the run of Spurs’ number 7 as a decoy, manoeuvred the ball to his left side before firing low past Ederson.
Yves Bissouma, in an attempt to progress play, would go on to try to nutmeg Rodri but the Spaniard read it all the way, dispossessing his midfield opponent, feeding Erling Haaland before the superstar striker rolled it back for Jack Grealish to dispatch from close range.
In a match packed full of twists and turns, the trend would continue through to the last minute when Dejan Kulusevski rose above Nathan Aké to head home an equaliser for the visitors. Worryingly for Pep Guardiola, it is yet another late strike.
Coming up on Wednesday night, and in the absence of star midfielder Rodri, is another test for the reigning champions. Aston Villa have been developing well as a side since the appointment of manager Unai Emery.
The Spaniard has the Midlands side sitting in fourth place this campaign, just one point short of Manchester City with 29 points. In fact, Villa have been immense at home winning their last 13 league matches at Villa Park.
Like Pep Guardiola’s team however, Aston Villa dropped points in their last Premier League outing through a dramatic 2-2 scoreline away at Bournemouth on the south coast.
Two players Pep Guardiola and his players will be particularly worried about ahead of Wednesday night’s clash are Ollie Watkins and new-signing Moussa Diaby. The latter has hugely impressed since his move to the Premier League, having had a hand in seven goals across 14 English top-flight appearances.
It will be interesting to see how Manchester City’s manager decides to counter-act Aston Villa’s threatening forward line, as well their innate ability to catch opponents offside, which they have done so the most in the Premier League this season.
Manchester City will take on Aston Villa on Tuesday 5th December at Villa Park, with kick-off scheduled for 20:15 GMT.
Jack Grealish is suspended for the return to his boyhood club as is defensive midfield mainstay Rodri following their respective yellow cards against Tottenham on Sunday afternoon, which could pose some problems for Pep Guardiola.
Matheus Nunes recently returned to first-team training late last week after enduring muscular discomfort during international duty in November, forcing an early exit from the Portuguese national team camp.
Kevin De Bruyne will also not feature as his long-awaited return is yet to come, but is widely expected to intensify his return and recovery process later this month, with a view towards returning to match action in early 2024.
Breakthrough winger Jeremy Doku is also unlikely to feature from the start of Wednesday night’s contest, as he was forced to come off early in the second half against Spurs, but could be named on the bench.
Bertrand Traore will be missing for the home side at Villa Park as he is still recovering from a muscle injury, whilst Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings will be absent due to knee injuries.
Some positive news for Aston Villa however is that Boubacar Koumara can return for this fixture having served a one-match suspension, with Unai Emery’s side hoping to move into third position above Manchester City with a win.
Head to Head
As is the same with many teams in recent years, Manchester City’s head to head record stands favourably for them.
In all competitions, the Sky Blues have not tasted defeat at the hands of Aston Villa since a 3-2 result on the 28th September 2013 – a match that saw club legend Yaya Touré and fan favourite Edin Džeko both on the score sheet.
In fact, Manchester City have won 13 of the last 15 fixtures between the two sides. However, with Aston Villa’s impressive home form, it is not a foregone conclusion that Pep Guardiola’s side will run away as winners on Wednesday.
- Aston Villa have not won in the last 13 Premier League matches against Manchester City.
- Aston Villa have won their last 13 home matches in the League.
- Except for a goalless draw in November 2015, Manchester City have scored at least once in 17 of their last 18 league fixtures against Aston Villa.
- Manchester City have won 25 of their last 26 league matches that have taken place on a Wednesday.
- Aston Villa have won just four times in 56 attempts against reigning league champions: 2-0 vs Blackburn in 1996, 3-2 vs Arsenal in 1998, 1-0 vs Manchester United in December 2009 and 7-2 vs Liverpool in October 2020.
- Unai Emery has failed to defeat Pep Guardiola in 13 attempts.
- Erling Haaland has scored twice in each of his last two away Premier League games, against Chelsea and Manchester United. He might become just the third player, after Harry Kane (September 2017) and Dennis Bergkamp (September 1997), to score two or more goals in three straight away appearances.
How to Watch
For fans in the United Kingdom, the match will be televised live on Amazon Prime Video with kick-off scheduled for 20:15 GMT. BBC Radio 5 Live will also be providing radio commentary of the contest from Villa Park.
For fans living elsewhere, you can find the full TV listings here!
City Xtra will, as always, be hosting a live Watchalong show on our Youtube channel which fans can watch to follow the game!
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