Citizens host Villains at the Etihad. This preview is courtesy of fanatix.
Roberto Mancini arrived at his press conference on Friday wearing a David Platt mask, suggesting the Italian is in a relaxed mood ahead of the visit of Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa.
The Italian will have been pleased to see the Premier League’s only unbeaten record preserved in last weekend’s 2-1 home win over Tottenham and Mancini could reward Edin Dzeko and Maicon with starts after their fine performances from the bench.
Lambert finds his Villa side languishing just above the drop zone but is likely to again resist pressure to recall England international Darren Bent, with Christian Benteke expected to keep his place as a lone striker.
Venue Etihad Stadium, Saturday 3pm
Last season Man City 4 Aston Villa 1
Referee Jon Moss
This season’s matches 5 Y21, R1, 4.40 cards per game
Odds Man City 2-9 Aston Villa 12-1 Draw 5-1
fanatix predicted line-ups:
Subs from Pantilimon, Wright, Zabaleta, Lescott, García, Kolarov, K Touré, Razak, Sinclair, Nimely, Balotelli, Milner, Agüero
Doubtful Balotelli (omitted), Clichy (back), Lescott (back), Milner (hamstring)
Injured Rodwell (groin, 25 Nov), Richards (knee, 9 Dec), Guidetti (leg, unknown)
Form guide WDWWWW
Disciplinary record Y11 R1
Leading scorer Dzeko 6
Subs from Given, Hutton, El Ahmadi, Albrighton, Holman, Delph, Bowery, Stevens, Baker, Williams, Carruthers
Injured Bennett (knee, 24 Nov), Bent (ankle, 24 Nov), Herd (knee, 24 Nov), Dunne (groin, 1 Dec), N’Zogbia (knee, 1 Dec), Gardner (knee, May), Petrov (leukaemia, unknown)
Form guide LWDLLD
Disciplinary record Y24 R2
Leading scorers Bent, Benteke, Weimann 2
Manchester City have won nine of their last 10 home matches against Aston Villa in the Premier League, including the last five.
Villa, though, inflicted the most recent home defeat on City in all competitions – a 4-2 triumph after extra-time in the League Cup third round on 25 September.
Manchester City are unbeaten in their last 35 home league matches, winning all but three, since a 2-1 defeat by Everton in December 2010. Only Manchester United (36 games) and Chelsea (86) have ever enjoyed longer unbeaten home runs in the Premier League.
The defending champions have the best defensive record in the top flight, conceding nine goals in 10 matches.
City have won five and drawn one of the last six Premier League home games in which they trailed.
Roberto Mancini’s side have conceded 60% of their goals from set-pieces this season, higher than any other team.
They have never lost a Premier League game in which Sergio Aguero has scored (P19, W18, D1).
Only seven players in Premier League history have scored more goals as a substitute than Edin Dzeko (11).
Mario Balotelli could make his 50th league appearance for the club.
Gareth Barry made 441 appearances in 12 years at Aston Villa.
Villa won their first Premier League away match in 14 attempts at Sunderland a fortnight ago. They have not won successive away fixtures since beating Chelsea and Wolves either side of New Year.
Paul Lambert’s side have already surrendered 10 points from winning positions this season, with 13 of the 17 goals they have conceded coming in the second half.
They have picked up only two points from seven matches against top-half opposition this season.
The Villans have earned only 24 points from their 30 games in 2012 – the lowest tally of any Premier League club.
Stephen Ireland made 176 appearances for Manchester City, scoring 13 goals in 50 games in 2008-09.
Eric Lichaj celebrates his 24th birthday on the day of this match.
fanatix prediction: 3-1 to Man City, with Edin Dzeko to score at least one from the bench.
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