PREMIER LEAGUE

AUTHOR: William Kedjanyi

STAR FOOTBALL PREVIEW Weds: Manchester City v Aston Villa

The Premier League title race is going down to the wire and defending Champions Manchester City can keep the pressure on Liverpool and Arsenal with victory over Aston Villa at the Etihad, writes WILLIAM KEDJANYI.

After Sunday’s goalless draw with Arsenal, City now have to rely on the results of others if they are to keep their hands on the Premier League, but it would be unwise for fans and backers of the Cityzens to start panicking.

Indeed, with City just 2/9 at the time of writing for victory tonight – and Liverpool (away at Manchester United) and Arsenal (away at Brighton) facing tough fixtures this weekend, it’s possible that they will be shorter at the end of the week than their current odds of 2/1 for the title.

Sunday’s clash against Arsenal was a dull affair where the Gunners defended very well with a low block, but even that setback means City have won 9 of their last 12 league matches. Their only dropped points in that time have come against Chelsea (won the shot count 31-9, and xG count 2.69 – 1.44), Liverpool and Arsenal.

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Manchester City v Aston Villa
Premier League
Etihad Stadium, Manchester
20:15 Live on TNT Sports 1 HD / TNT Sports Ultimate / Discovery +

HEAD-TO-HEAD RECORD
(Maximum 10 matches)
DEC 2023 PREMIER LEAGUE Aston Villa 1-0 Manchester City
FEB 2023 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 3-1 Aston Villa
SEP 2022 PREMIER LEAGUE Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester City
MAY 2022 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 3-2 Aston Villa
DEC 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester City
APR 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester City
JAN 2021 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 2-0 Aston Villa
MAR 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester City
JAN 2020 PREMIER LEAGUE Aston Villa 1-6 Manchester City
OCT 2019 PREMIER LEAGUE Manchester City 3-0 Aston Villa

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Aston Villa inflicted a rare – and very much deserved – defeat upon Manchester City when they met in December, but haven’t matched that form since. They’re in the thick of a fight for the top 4 (currently ? for a Top 4 finish with Star), sitting three points clear of fifth-place Tottenham and 11 ahead of Manchester United in sixth, having also played a game more than both.

Goals from Moussa Diaby and Ezri Konsa gave them a much-needed win against Wolves at the weekend, although they were nowhere near their best against a Wolves side missing Pedro Neto, Hwang Hee-chan and Matheus Cunha, and previously they’d been lucky to take a point from West Ham and were beaten 4-0 by Tottenham.

The absence of Ollie Watkins to a hamstring injury is a huge blow for their prospects, adding to the fact that John McGinn’s suspension has left them light in midfield – and City can take advantage of that to post a comprehensive victory. City have won 10 league games at the Etihad this season and passed a one-goal handicap in seven of them, and that could be the best option tonight.


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