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Manchester City vs Aston Villa tips and predictions: Title chasing City to edge past Champions League dreamers

Title challengers Manchester City take on Champions League chasing Aston Villa in a huge Premier League clash on Wednesday night (2015 BST).

After tough games against title rivals Liverpool and Arsenal, things don't get much easier for Man City as they welcome the next best thing into town, Unai Emery's Aston Villa.

Villa fans will be dreaming of booking their flights to the likes of Madrid, Dortmund and Lisbon, but this fixture is the first of a daunting run-in that includes a trip to Arsenal and a home clash against Liverpool. 

Like many, the Villans' recent record at the Etihad doesn't make good reading, with their last win at the ground coming in a League Cup match in 2012 and since then the aggregate score between the sides at this ground reads 27-6 in City's favour over eight matches.

Despite their dire record at the Etihad, Villa did beat the club world champions 1-0 in the reverse back in December and Pep Guardiola's side haven't been anywhere near the levels we know they can reach so there is some encouragement there for Emery.

Erling Haaland has struggled to make an impact recently, scoring just four in his last nine league games, and was criticised for his below-par performance against Arsenal on Sunday.

However, Phil Foden has been in sparkling form this season and has made up for Haaland's dip in form, with a career best 18 goal contributions in the league and the 23-year-old will cause Villa problems.

Villa do come to the Etihad without some of their key players including top scorer Ollie Watkins after he came off with a hamstring problem during the 2-0 win over Wolves on Saturday.

It's a huge blow for the Villans and it will impact their already slim chances of becoming the first team to come away from Man City with maximum points, as Watkins' all round game has been key to their success this season.

Recently Man City's games haven't involved as many goals as they usually do with their last seven league outings yielding just 12 goals and Villa have been solid at the back this season, so don't expect a hatful of goals in this one. 

Despite their position in the league, this is still an extremely difficult assignment for Aston Villa and we expect them to lose, but only narrowly so an asian handicap is the way to go.


Team news

Nathan Ake, Kyle Walker and Ederson are all absent for the hosts. 

Ollie Watkins, Jacob Ramsay, Tyrone Mings, Matty Cash, Boubacar Kamar and Tyrone Mings are all ruled out for Aston Villa.

John McGinn is serving the final match of his three-match ban following his red card in the 4-0 defeat against Tottenham.


Key stats:

- Phil Foden has 18 goal contributions in the Premier League this season, a career best

- Man City have won their last 13 Premier League home games against Villa

- Aston Villa have won seven away games in the league this season, only the top three have won more

- Unai Emery has won just one game against Pep Guardiola, the 1-0 win at Villa Park in December


Suggested bets 

Manchester City asian handicap -1.25

Phil Foden to score in 90 mins

Under 3.5 match goals


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