Manchester City v Aston Villa

4 Mar

Yaya Toure


Yaya Toure suffered a foot injury in Manchester City’s League Cup final victory but he should be fit to face Villa.

TEAM NEWS

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure is expected to be fit despite missing Wednesday’s defeat by Liverpool because of a foot problem.

Kevin De Bruyne, Fabian Delph and Samir Nasri remain on the sidelines.

Aston Villa have no new injury concerns but remain without the injured quintet of Carlos Sanchez, Jack Grealish, Libor Kozak, Adama Traore and Jordan Amavi.

Rudy Gestede is pushing for a recall after scoring as a substitute in Tuesday’s defeat by Everton.

MOTD COMMENTATOR’S NOTES

Steve Bower: “Whilst the Capital One Cup is back in the cabinet and the Champions League is looking encouraging, there’s no hiding from Manchester City’s domestic league frustrations.

“To win the title after eight defeats is unheard of, although this season is anything but a usual one.

“First and foremost, they have to make sure Pep Guardiola has Champions League football to look forward to.

“As they look to get back on track, there is surely no other fixture they would have picked.

“The list of adjectives to describe Aston Villa’s woes has virtually run out. They look beaten in the tunnel and now have to at least show they care and try and salvage some pride.

“I watched them somehow take a point off City earlier in the season; a repeat would be up there with the shocks of the season.”

Twitter: @SteveBowercomm

WHAT THE MANAGERS SAY

Aston Villa manager Remi Garde: “Hopefully we will prove once again, as we did in the home game against City, that football doesn’t always go as predicted.

“If we can get the first goal I feel my players will gain the necessary confidence from that. We have 10 games to go. I have to adapt knowing that we need to win games.”

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

Manchester City are very inconsistent at the moment but it would take an exceptionally bad performance from them to drop any more points on Saturday.

Prediction: 3-0

Lawro’s full predictions

  • Think you can do better than Lawro? Predict the score for this match and the rest of this round’s Premier League fixtures in our Predictor game.
City's 20-3 aggregate score v Villa in last five games<!–

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Manchester City have won seven of the last nine league meetings. Their only defeat in that time was 3-2 at Villa Park in 2013.
  • City have won eight successive home matches against Aston Villa in the league since 2007.
  • Villa have failed to score in six of the eight most recent Premier League encounters between the sides.

Manchester City

  • Manchester City have lost three Premier League games in a row for the first time since November 2008. They last lost four in a row earlier that year, culminating in a 4-2 defeat by Villa on the opening weekend of the 2008-09 season.
  • City haven’t lost three Premier League home games in a row since March 2007, and they last went three matches without a home win in November 2010.
  • A fifth home defeat of the season would be as many as they suffered in the previous four seasons combined.
  • Sergio Agüero has managed four goals in his last three league matches against Aston Villa, but he has only scored once in eight Premier League appearances in the month of March.

Aston Villa

  • Villa have lost three successive Premier League games.
  • They are winless in 13 away matches in the league since beating Bournemouth on the opening day of the season (D3, L10).
  • Remi Garde’s side have only scored five goals in their last 10 away games in the division.
  • They are the division’s lowest scorers with 22 goals, including just six in the first half of matches.
  • Aston Villa have taken just four points from 15 games against the current top 10, the worst record in the division (D4, L10).
  • Micah Richards could make his 200th Premier League appearance; 179 of those were for Manchester City.

SAM (Sports Analytics Machine) is a super-computer created by Professor Ian McHale at the University of Salford that is used to predict the outcome of football matches.

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