Unfortunately for Paul Lambert’s Villa side that could still mean a remarkably strong outfit will be fielded by the Premier League champions.
Gareth Barry was an unused substitute against Arsenal at the weekend so could start against his former club.
Roberto Mancini’s men have a legitimate chance of competing in four competitions this season and that is reflected in the short price of 1/3 (1.33) with Paddy Power for City to win here.
Villa have had a mixed start to the season with encouraging signs in the draw at Newcastle as well as the win over Swansea before suffering a setback with a 4-1 defeat at Southampton at the weekend.
Only Liverpool have won this competition as many times as Villa but Lambert may feel the need to prioritise the Premier League after a stuttering start.
Aston Villa are 8/1 (9.00) with Paddy Power to spring a surprise in Manchester. The draw is available at 4/1 (5.00).
In the goalscorer markets, Mario Balotelli has a point to prove after recently slipping behind Edin Dzeko in the pecking order. The Italian is 4/1 (5.00) to get the first goal in this one.
The inclusion of players of Balotelli's calibre makes it unlikely that Villa can hope to keep a clean sheet but it is worth noting that this is something City have also failed to do in any competition so far this season.
Remember too that Lambert’s side have also opted for a more expansive approach than under predecessor Alex McLeish.
As a result, the pick of the bets looks to be both teams to score at 4/6 (1.67) with Paddy Power.
But it is likely to be City – with their extraordinary firepower and attacking options – that will be grabbing most of the goals.
For the value bet, consider a repeat of Villa’s last away game and back a 4-1 City win at 14/1 (15.00) with Paddy Power.
|Both teams to score at 4/6 (1.67) with Paddy Power
||Man City to win 4-1 at 14/1 (15.00) with Paddy Power|
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Adam Bate is a professional freelance journalist who specialises in football and betting. He is editor of GhostGoal which can be found here - you can also follow Adam on