Aston Villa will be looking to put their Premier League woes behind them as they take on Manchester City in the FA Cup this afternoon (KO 15:00).
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Aston Villa will have one eye on their crunch clash with West Ham when they take on Manchester City in the FA Cup fourth round.
After dismal opening 6 months to the season, Remi Garde’s men have found some form in recent weeks, winning two and drawing three of their last five games in all competitions.
The run of results has come at the right time and Garde is hopeful his side can build on it against City, telling the Official Aston Vill website
“The game against Manchester City is a big opportunity for us. We are in a good moment. We lack a bit of confidence in front of goal, but I’m pleased we’re not conceding too many goals. That’s important. The results have led to hope of a great escape from relegation with the club now 10 points from safety”
Last season’s runners-up are likely to make some changes to their line-up with Jordan Lyden, Jack Grealish, want-away midfielder Scott Sinclair, Ciaran Clarke, Brad Guzan and Jordan Veretout all set to feature.
Manchester City meanwhile are also unbeaten in five across all competitions and secured their place in the Capital One cup final midweek, at the expense of Everton.
Victory came at a cost however with midfielder Kevin de Bruyne injuring his right knee. The 24 year old will be out for about 10 weeks after falling awkwardly in injury time.
Willy Caballero will continue in goal after featuring midweek and in the last round against Norwich while Kelechi Iheanacho, Fernando, Pablo Zabaleta and Jose Tasende will hope to be involved.
Vincent Kompany, Aleksandar Kolarov and Samir Nasri will all definitely be unavailable due to injury while Wilfriend Bony is available but likely to start on the bench.
Manuel Pellegrini told the Official Manchester City website:
“It’s the same team we play that we played in November – we started in Remi Garde’s first game. We drew against them in their stadium so I think tomorrow will be a similar game and very difficult also.”
The manager was also quick to play down the chance of the quadruple for Manchester City, with the side perfectly poised to bring the silverware to the Etihad Stadium this season as the Citizens seem to be happy with their existing squad.
Pellegrini told the BBC –
“It’s not our intention to bring anyone in. I trust in my squad and I am sure we will be competitive. [Winning the quadruple] is not a realistic target. We have to look at Aston Villa. If we don’t beat them it is all over.”
City have won four of the last six meetings between the pair and won 3-0 when they met in the FA Cup in 2011.