McLeish is wary of Silva after the midfielder played a part in ending his country's hopes of Euro 2012 qualification when Spain beat Scotland on Tuesday.
"We saw that from Silva's performance the other night for Spain and they can even play him up front," he said.
"He is a quality player, he is fantastic, but most of the whole of Spain is fantastic and what a generation of players they have at their disposal.
"He is a great player, has settled in at Manchester City really well after a sticky start."
Villa enter the match in seventh place in the Premier League table, while City are second on goal difference behind local rivals Manchester United.