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Premier League

  • 4 March 2013
  • • 20:00
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: M. Dean
  • • Attendance: 33217
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Aston Villa - Manchester City Preview: Mancini's men aiming to keep title hopes alive

The Premier League champions will look to shorten the gap at the top of the table when they take on Paul Lambert's struggling side at Villa Park on Monday evening

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

ASTON VILLA

Guzan
Lowton, Baker, Clark, Bennett

Westwood, Delph
Wiemann, N'Zogbia, Agbonlahor
Benteke
MANCHESTER CITY

Hart
Zabaleta, K.Toure, Nastasic, Clichy

Rodwell, Garcia
Milner, Y. Toure, Silva
Aguero

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has both Marc Albrighton (ankle) and Richard Dunne (groin) out but Shay Given, Ron Vlaar and Darren Bent could all return after missing the club's defeat to Arsenal last Saturday.

Elsewhere, Chris Herd is still sidelined with an ankle strain, while Craig Gardner is a long-term absentee with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini will definitely be without Brazilian defender Maicon who is sidelined with a knee injury, while Vincent Kompany may miss the fixture due to a calf problem. Gareth Barry and Micah Richards are all nearing returns to fitness and could make the bench.

Jack Rodwell may continue in midfield, while Carlos Tevez will be fighting for a starting place after netting against Chelsea last Sunday.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Aston Villa have scored just 26 league goals all season, which is less than the return of 29 goals scored by Manchester City trio Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez.
  • Villa have conceded 52 goals in the top flight all campaign, which is the worst defensive record in the league.
  • Aston Villa have conceded at least two goals in eight of their last 10 games in the Premier League.
  • Paul Lambert's side have lost all eight league encounters where they have been behind at half-time.
  • Manchester City boast the best defensive record in the league this season with 12 clean sheets and 24 goals conceded overall.
  • City have won 14 of the 16 games where strike duo Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez have started together.
  • Their previous meeting this season ended 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium following David Silva's strike, and two goals each from Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez.

Players to watch

C. Benteke

Position: Attacker

Games: 2

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Belgium international has been a rare ray of light amid a desperately poor season for the club and he will fancy his chances to do some damage to a City back four which has been below their best for parts of the campaign. Mancini's hesitancy to pair two left-footed centre-backs could see Kolo Toure keep his place at the expense of Joleon Lescott, which could play into Benteke's hands.

David Silva

Position: Midfielder

Games: 9

  • 2
  • 2
  • 0
The creative heartbeat of Roberto Mancini's side has, given Samir Nasri's struggles this term, become even more important to the team's ability to the dictate tempo in the opposition's half. The Spaniard will be tasked with drifting in between the lines of midfield and defence and delivering a steady stream of service to City's attack.

Editor's Prediction

Roberto Mancini will be wary of underestimating the hosts in what could be a potential banana skin against a side fighting for their lives at the bottom of the table, but in reality, should they deal with the threat of Benteke reasonably well. This has the makings of a routine win as they bid to keep their Premier League title hopes alive for another week.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Aston Villa

Manchester City

Wins
1
0
4
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
Aston Villa FC Aston Villa
Draw
Manchester City FC MNC
Manchester City FC Manchester City
29%
62%

Top 3 Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
0 - 3
Manchester City FC MNC
Aston Villa FC AST
2 - 1
Manchester City FC MNC
Aston Villa FC AST
1 - 3
Manchester City FC MNC

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