Preview: Aston Villa vs. Manchester City

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini on the touchline during the match against Everton on December 1, 2012
© PA Photos
Sports Mole looks ahead to an equally-important match for both sides on Monday night as Aston Villa welcome Manchester City.

Manchester City travel to Aston Villa on Monday knowing that anything but a win effectively hands city rivals United the Premier League title.

If United win against Norwich on Saturday then the gap back to City in second will be an almost insurmountable 15 points.

Three points will be expected against a struggling Villa side who need the points to get out of the
relegation zone.

Paul Lambert will be hoping to welcome back captain Ron Vlaar in defence but if the Dutchman doesn't make it, Nathan Baker is likely to move across to centre-back.

For the visitors, Sergio Aguero is likely to lead the line but could be partnered by fellow Argentine Carlos Tevez. Captain Vincent Kompany could miss a fifth straight game as he continues to recover from a calf injury.

In the reverse fixture in November City scored four goals in the second half in a 5-0 rout.

Recent league form

Villa: LDLWDL

City: WWDDLW

Possible starting lineups

Villa: Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker; Weimann, Westwood, Delph, N'Zogbia; Agbonlahor, Benteke

City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kolo Toure, Nastasic, Clichy; Milner, Barry, Javi Garcia, Silva; Yaya Toure; Aguero

Sports Mole says: 0-2

Newcastle's new signing Moussa Sissoko shields the ball from Barry Bannan of Aston Villa on January 29, 2013
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