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Preview: Aston Villa vs. Manchester City

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Premier League meeting between Aston Villa and Manchester City.

Aston Villa have seen their form suffer in recent weeks just as many had expected them to following a brilliant start to the new Premier League season.

After defeats to Arsenal and Chelsea in the past couple of games, the tough challenges keep on coming as Paul Lambert's men prepare for the visit of Manchester City on Saturday.

Tests don't come much more difficult than facing the defending champions, but Villa can afford to be optimistic after relieving pressure with the early-season successes.

Lambert is unlikely to make too many changes to his team, although there could be a spot in the squad for Christian Benteke, who made his return from injury earlier this week.

Benteke made his comeback by scoring for the Under-21s, and his presence, even if it is just a place on the bench, will provide a big boost for the hosts.

For City, intrigued eyes will be looking to see if Joe Hart retains his place in goal after returning to the side in place of Willy Caballero for Tuesday's Champions League draw with Roma.

There are no further injury concerns for Pellegrini's side, but the Chilean could be persuaded to hand a recall to Eliaquim Mangala after Martin Demichelis was preferred to the Frenchman in defence against Roma.

Recent form

Aston Villa: WDWWLL

Man City: WWLDDW

Possible starting lineups

Aston Villa: Guzan, Hutton, Cissokho, Baker, Senderos, Westwood, Delph, Richardson, Cleverley, Weimann, Agbonlahor

Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Mangala, Kolarov, Navas, Fernandinho, Toure, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko

Sports Mole says: 1-3

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Man City's Joe Hart in action against Viktoria Plzen during their Champions League group match on November 27, 2013
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