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Aston Villa logo
Premier League | Gameweek 15
Dec 6, 2023 at 8.15pm UK
Villa Park
Manchester City logo
Aston Villa
1 - 0
Man City
Bailey (74')
Watkins (60'), Kamara (87')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Stones (45'), Lewis (53')

Preview: Aston Villa vs. Manchester City - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Manchester City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Seeking to avoid a fourth successive game without a win in the Premier League, reigning champions Manchester City travel to Villa Park to test their mettle against a high-flying Aston Villa outfit on Wednesday night.

Only one point separates these two teams in the top-flight table, with the Citizens in third place sitting just ahead of the Lions in fourth spot after 14 matches.

Match preview

Aston Villa's Ollie Watkins celebrates scoring their second goal on December 3, 2023© Reuters

Aston Villa's four-game winning streak in all competitions was brought to an end last weekend as they came from behind twice to salvage a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.

Leon Bailey cancelled out an early opener from Antoine Semenyo before Dominic Solanke put Bournemouth back in front shortly after half time, but Villa's star man Ollie Watkins came to the rescue when he netted a 90th-minute equaliser – his third league goal in as many games and his eight in the top flight this season – to ensure that Unai Emery's men came away from the South Coast with a point.

Despite the draw, Villa still find themselves in the Champions League positions, but defeat on Wednesday against Man City could see them slip down to sixth in the table if both fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur and fifth-placed Newcastle United win their next games on Thursday.

After back-to-back league fixtures away from home, the Lions will welcome a return to Villa Park where they have enjoyed an exceptional run of form, winning 17 of their last 18 home matches across all competitions – a 2-1 defeat to Everton in the EFL Cup in September being the only blot on their copybook.

Spirits are understandably high within the Villa camp, but their record against Man City leaves little to be desired heading into Wednesday's contest, as they have failed to win any of their last 13 Premier League meetings with the Citizens since a 3-2 home win in September 2013; Villa have also won only one of their last 12 top-flight games played on a Wednesday.

Manchester City's Erling Haaland, Mateo Kovacic and Ruben Dias remonstrate with referee Simon Hooper on December 3, 2023© Reuters

For the first time since 2017, Man City have put together a three-game winless run in the Premier League after playing out three successive draws against Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, despite leading in all three fixtures.

The Citizens were forced to settle for just a point in a thrilling 3-3 draw at home against Spurs last weekend after Dejan Kulusevski netted a 90th-minute equaliser, before the game concluded in controversial fashion when referee Simon Hooper blew his whistle for a foul on Erling Haaland, sparking an angry response from the home side as it denied Jack Grealish the chance to run through on goal in stoppage time.

Nevertheless, defensive frailties have proved costly for Pep Guardiola's side - who sit three points adrift of league leaders Arsenal - as they have conceded 10 goals in their last four matches across all competitions, while they have only kept five clean sheets in 21 competitive matches this season.

Wednesday's encounter with Aston Villa arguably represents the most challenging fixture for Man City for the remainder of 2023, but they have had plenty of success against the Lions in recent years, winning 10 of their last 11 meetings by an aggregate score of 32-8.

Man City have scored at least once in 17 of their last 18 Premier League games against Villa, netting 48 in total, but a goal in their last visit to Villa Park was not enough to claim maximum points as the hosts rescued a 1-1 draw in September last year courtesy of a Leon Bailey equaliser.

Aston Villa Premier League form:

Aston Villa form (all competitions):

Manchester City Premier League form:

Manchester City form (all competitions):

Team News

Manchester City's Jack Grealish remonstrates with referee Simon Hooper before being shown a yellow card on December 3, 2023© Reuters

Aston Villa are still having to cope without injured trio Bertrand Traore (muscle), Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings (both knee), but Boubacar Kamara is available to return after serving a one-match ban last weekend.

Kamara could replace Youri Tielemans in the first XI and partner former Man City man Douglas Luiz in centre-midfield, with John McGinn set to continue on the left as Bailey hopes to retain his spot on the right after scoring against Bournemouth.

Moussa Diaby, who came off the substitutes' bench to set up Watkins's equaliser against the Cherries, will be looking to force his way back into the starting lineup ahead of either Bailey or Nicolo Zaniolo, while Emery will ponder whether to stick with Ezri Konsa at right-back or recall Matty Cash.

As for Man City, Rodri and ex-Villa man Grealish are both ruled out through suspension due to an accumulation of yellow cards, while Jeremy Doku (leg) and Matheus Nunes (muscle) will both be assessed ahead of kickoff; Kevin De Bruyne, meanwhile, remains out with a long-term hamstring injury.

The absence of Rodri could see Mateo Kovacic deputise in a deep-lying midfield role alongside Manuel Akanji, but John Stones is back in contention to start and could return in midfield, while Rico Lewis, Bernardo Silva and Kalvin Phillips are other options at Guardiola's disposal.

The potential absence of Doku could see Phil Foden move over to the left flank and Bernardo operate on the right, while Erling Haaland - who scored in the aforementioned 1-1 draw at Villa Park last season - is set to lead the line, even though he is allegedly at risk of a FA charge following a social media post after the draw with Spurs.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Digne; Bailey, Kamara, Luiz, McGinn; Diaby, Watkins

Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake; Akanji, Kovacic; Foden, Alvarez, Bernardo, Doku; Haaland

SM words green background

We say: Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester City

No Premier League teams have scored more goals this season than Man City (36) and Aston Villa (33), who are both set to view Wednesday's intriguing contest as a challenging one in their quest to return to winning ways.

Villa have every right to feel optimistic of success considering their outstanding home form, but if any team are to burst their bubble it could well be Man City, who boast a strong head-to-head record in this fixture and will be fired up to make amends following their recent dip in form.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Tables header RHS
2Manchester CityMan City25175358263256
4Aston Villa25154652331949
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs25145652381447
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd2514293534144
7Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2510874840838
8Newcastle UnitedNewcastle251141053411237
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham2510693644-836
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves25105103940-135
15Crystal Palace2567122844-1625
16Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2566133244-1224
18Luton TownLuton2555153551-1620
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2534182265-4313

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