Manchester City - Aston Villa Preview: Champions looking to maintain unbeaten Premier League run

The champions are the only undefeated side remaining in the league and defend their impressive home record against Paul Lambert's side, who have won just one of their last 13 away


Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy
Toure Y, Barry
Silva, Tevez, Nasri

Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Stevens
Weimann, Westwood, Ireland, Bannan

Joleon Lescott looks set to return to the Manchester City side for Saturday’s visit of Aston Villa after recovering from a back injury, while Samir Nasri should make a comeback from illness.

Gael Clichy (back) should be fit to play after withdrawing from the France squad in midweek. James Milner and Jack Rodwell (both hamstring) are pushing for a return, while Matija Nastasic is fighting to recover from a knee knock.

Enda Stevens could keep his place in the Aston Villa side after deputising for the suspended Eric Lichaj against Manchester United last week, while Darren Bent (ankle) is struggling to recover.

Joe Bennett and Chris Herd (both knee) are still sidelined for Villa, with Paul Lambert likely to name the same XI that lost 3-2 to the Red Devils.

  • Manchester City are unbeaten in the Premier League this season, and haven’t lost at home in the top flight in 35 matches; a run that started with a 4-0 win over Aston Villa in December 2010.
  • Mario Balotelli (pictured right) has four goals in two Premier League games against Aston Villa, and six in four appearances in all competitions against them.
  • Joleon Lescott has scored more goals against Villa (five) than against any other Premier League side.
  • Penalties are a common occurrence in this fixture, with five spot-kicks awarded in their last eight meetings.
  • City have scored in every one of their last 37 Premier League home games.
  • Roberto Mancini’s side have won 14 points from losing positions this season; only Manchester United (15) have recovered more.
  • Before their last away league game – a 1-0 win at Sunderland – Paul Lambert’s side had gone 13 Premier League away games without a win.