Manchester City vs Aston Villa. Prediction and Preview. Probable Lineups, Team News, Stats, and more

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Both teams need all 3 points, who will prevail in this pivotal contest?

Manchester City FC will host Aston Villa FC in the English Premier League 31st-round match at the Etihad Stadium. The fixture will take place on Thursday, April 4, beginning at 00:45 IST.

Parimatch News will tell you everything you need to know ahead of the upcoming match.

Manchester City News & Current Form: 

The English Premier League is approaching its denouement, but the heat of passion at the end only intensifies. The reigning champions of England continue to fight for a whole host of trophies at the end of the current season, but with the recent results of the title race 6-pointers and the current position in the EPL table, the situation does not look rosy.

The Citizens remain in the group of leaders and occupy the 3rd place in the standings, however, in the last two rounds they played against direct competitors for the title, but could not win a single game: draw with the Reds (1:1) and Arsenal last weekend (0:0).

To the displeasure of Mikel Arteta, it was City who dominated this match, outnumbering their opponents three times in possession, twice in shots made, two and a half times in free kicks and almost twice in corners. 

What the Londoners were leading in was fouls committed (20 vs. 9) and shots on target (two vs. one). But to Pep Guardiola’s even greater disappointment, the score remained 0:0. An extremely close game that left the fans disgruntled. This match is also notable for the fact that for the first time in the last 58 games, City failed to score at home.

Perhaps the packed calendar played a role in the fact that the tired Citizens began to run out of steam at the last stage. Immediately after battles with the first and second teams in the table, Man City will face fourth-placed Aston Villa, who won 1:0 in the first round, and then the UEFA Champions League matches.

Now the team of Jurgen Klopp is the front runner in the title race: according to the supercomputer Opta, in the trio of Liverpool FCArsenal FC – Manchester City the probability of success in percentage terms after the last round is now distributed as 47% – 19% – 31%. 

Just before the international break, the Sky Blues demolished Newcastle United FC and reached the semi-finals of the Emirates FA Cup (2:0), where they will shortly meet Chelsea FC. While in the Champions League, the hosts logically defeated FC Copenhagen (6:2 on aggregate of two matches) and will meet Real Madrid CF in the quarterfinals, who will have 9 days to prepare for the match, while the English have only 3.  

Player of Manchester City Nathan Ake sustained an injury in the match with Arsenal FC and is set to miss a few weeks

Nathan Ake was injured last weekend and is out of action for a couple of weeks, also the participation of Ederson and midfielder Kyle Walker remains in doubt. Erling Haaland again disappointed the viewers in the duel with a top-tier opponent, but the Norwegian is still the league’s top scorer with 18 goals. 

Rodri, Bernardo Silva, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden will surely keep the striker company in the starting lineup, while Argentine world champion Julian Alvarez has all the reasons to count on being on the pitch from the first minute after resting in the last round. 

By the way, City are only third in the overall standings in terms of home performances: in 15 games at the Etihad, the hosts have collected 35 points, scored 34 goals and conceded just 12 (the best figure).

Aston Villa News & Current Form: 

Aston Villa reaffirm their ambitions and seriously count on qualifying for the Champions League next season, despite the fact that the closer to the end of the season, the more difficult it is for the team to maintain the stability of the game and results. The schedule does not spare Emery’s team – first with a trip to Man City, and very soon – a battle with Arsenal in between UEFA Europa Conference League matches.

Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa has already scored 16 goals in the Premier League, just 2 less than Erling Haaland

The Birmingham side are currently in 4th place in the Premier League standings and, having played 1 match more, are 3 points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur FC. At the same time, Villa are one of the highest scoring teams of the season (62), but the Lions have also conceded a lot (42) – more than any other team in the top four.

Boys of Unai Emery had a bad stretch at the beginning of the year: they won only two games out of seven. But since mid-February, the situation has leveled off: in eight meetings, they have had just one defeat and five victories in all tournaments. After three consecutive wins, the Yellow and Blues suffered a fiasco when they were beaten 0:4 at home by the Spurs. 

The Lions then sealed a 1:1 draw with West Ham United FC before beating Wolverhampton Wanderers FC with a score of 2:0 last weekend. Moussa Diaby, called up to the French national team for the first time in 12 months, opened the scoring in the first half with a left-footed shot before assisting Ezri Konsa, who headed the ball into the net for Jose Sa

Villa are fourth in the overall standings for away performances with 25 points in 15 meetings away from home. In the Conference League, the Lions easily defeated AFC Ajax (4:0 on aggregate of two matches) and will meet LOSC Lille in the quarterfinals.

In the first round of this season, a team from Birmingham defeated Man City at Villa Park with a score of 1:0, the first victory of the club over this opponent since September 2013. Moreover, according to the game then Emery’s wards had every chance to win bigger, and Pep Guardiola admitted that the opponent was much better prepared for the battle. 

One of the key elements of the team’s results is Ollie Watkins, who has already scored 16 goals in the league, yielding two goals to Norwegian scorer Haaland. But if you take the goal+pass system, Ollie already has 10 assists, which is already a clear lead in the EPL. The bad news is that the player will not be able to help the team in the upcoming encounter, Unai Emery has confirmed that it will take longer to recover from the injury that the player sustained in the match against Wolves.

In addition, the Lions are still missing 4 players due to injuries: defender and captain Tyrone Mings, Pole Matty Cash, midfielder Boubacar Kamara and playmaker Emiliano Buendia. The participation of winger Jacob Ramsey in the upcoming match also remains in doubt.

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Manchester City form guide: W-W-W-D-W-D

Aston Villa form guide: W-D-L-W-D-W

Manchester City vs Aston Villa Head-To-Head Record:

Manchester CityDrawAston Villa
  • September 3, 2022: Aston Villa 1 – 1 Manchester City (Premier League);
  • February 12, 2023: Manchester City 3 – 1 Aston Villa (Premier League);
  • December 6, 2023: Aston Villa 1 – 0 Manchester City (Premier League).

Manchester City vs Aston Villa Predicted XI:

Manchester City’s possible starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Ortega; Lewis, Dias, Akanji, Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic; Doku, De Bruyne, Grealish; Haaland.

Aston Villa’s possible starting lineup (4-4-1-1): Martinez; Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Digne; Bailey, Luiz, Tielemans, Rogers; Diaby, Duran.

Statistical preview of the match Manchester City vs Aston Villa:

  • Man City’s First XI average age is 25.6 years, Aston Villa’s First XI average age is 26.7 years.
  • The total value of City’s squad is 1.27 bln euros, while the total of Villa comes up to 646 mln euros.
  • Darren England has been appointed as the center referee. The referee has already served 19 games this season, showing an average of 5.5 yellow cards and also whistles 23 fouls per game. 
  • According to the xG rating, Manchester City have an average of 2.13 expected goals per game, while Aston Villa have an average of 1.69.
  • Man City possess the ball for an average of 66.35% of the match’s playing time, while Aston Villa possess the ball for 56.58%.
  • Manchester players are caught offside an average of 1.2 times per game, while Villa average 1.45 times.
  • The Citizens take an average of 18.75 shots per game, while the opponents make 13.9.
  • City hits the crossbar an average of 6.85 times per game, while Aston Villa – 5.3.
  • Manchester City have not lost 23 matches in a row in different tournaments – in 19 of them Pep Guardiola’s wards have succeeded. 
  • City serv an average of 8.65 corners per game, while Villa – 6.4.
  • Aston Villa play quite rough and collect an average of 2.7 yellow cards per game, and against the Citizens will surely act even tougher – otherwise it will be difficult to contain the opponent’s attack. Manchester City receive an average of 2.25 yellow cards, but here you can obviously count on three at least.

What has been said before the match:

Gaffer of the Citizens Pep Guardiola praised the Unai Emery for his outstanding results as a coach:

“Aston Villa are excellent the way they play. Unai Emery and the consistency in every season, Villa is impressive and always he has done really well. It’s not a surprise the quality of him and his management and the quality of the team.”

“I didn’t watch all the games because I don’t think all managers watch all the games of opponents. I think he’s playing the same system. They have really good set-pieces and transitions with the two incredible fast players up front.”

“The shape is really clear what they do. They can do high pressing and afterwards defend very well with a back four or back five and a really structured line. They have an exceptional keeper. That is why they are where they are, fighting to be there.”

The main motivation of Unai Emery, the head coach of the Lions, is to play in the European Cup next season:

“Playing against the best team in the Premier League is the biggest test we are facing and tomorrow is one of the most important matches we are going to face. It’s a tough match and we are respecting them. Playing against Manchester City is very difficult and even more so playing away.”

“Guardiola’s players are some of the best in the world, but we are very excited and very motivated. We are doing our way, trying to get better every day and add different players because we are having a lot of bad circumstances with injured players.”

“Pep is the best coach in the world, for me. Analyzing him in Spain, analyzing him here in England, he’s a brilliant coach, a genius coach.”

“I expect a very difficult match and that we will defend a lot tomorrow. I expect that in case we can dominate the match at some points to play with personality and try to use our power when we are with the ball.”

“This is the opportunity we have. Each point we are playing for in the Premier League is very motivating for us. Our opportunity to repeat playing in Europe next season is fantastic.”

Manchester City vs Aston Villa Prediction:

The upcoming match will be the last one for the Sky Blue in the Premier League, in which they can potentially lose points. Next up, they have a comfortable calendar with noticeably inferior opponents, which is important given the competition at the top of the table. In the current circumstances, Pep Guardiola’s side cannot afford to lose precious points. The hosts are looking to take all three, and a bunch of statistical factors suggest that they may manage to do so: Manchester City have not lost in 23 consecutive matches in different competitions, and Pep Guardiola’s men have been successful in 19 of them. In the last 11 home matches, the Citizens have achieved nine victories – eight of them with a difference of more than one goal. That said, their vis-a-vis, Aston Villa, are playing poorly at the Etihad and have lost their last eight outings there – six of them by more than a goal.

At the same time, the victory will probably not be obtained easily. Aston Villa also have high tournament motivation – they need to cement their Champions League qualification place. Unai Emery and his coaching staff have certainly studied the previous match of the Citizens and will opt to play from defence in a low block using the techniques of his compatriot – Mikel Arteta. Due to another misfire of Tottenham in the current round, the Lions will be satisfied with the option of snatching 1 point from Manchester. In addition, important attacking players like Emiliano Buendia and Ollie Watkins will not be able to help the team in this match, so there is no point in trying to play aggressively. Counterattacks are one of the main weapons of the Villans, and it may be enough to catch the hosts in transition only once in a match to score a goal. At the same time, Aston Villa are confident in the games on the road – they have only one defeat since 5 November last year (25 points in 15 matches; 4th best away form in the EPL). 

A huge dose of intrigue is brought by the fact that Aston Villa literally destroyed the Citizens at Villa Park in this campaign, and not only by score but also in terms of the game. The Sky-Blues surely remember this, so they will be loaded for revenge. Kevin De Bryune and his teammates have no more margin for error if they want to win the English Premier League title. The zeros in the game against the Gunners will incentivise Guardiola to take decisive action, which means Aston Villa will be under intense pressure and this opens up the possibility of seeing a goal-filled match. Seven of the ten recent face-to-face meetings between the Citizens and the Lions have recorded at least 3 goals scored. And talking about matches at the Etihad, Man City was the main team to find themselves on the score table, netting at least three times in ten of their last ten fixtures against Aston Villa in the English elite. However, looking at the performance at the current stretch of the season, Manchester City have scored more than two goals only once in their last seven English Premier League games, and the productivity of their top scorer, Erling Haaland, is raising concerns, as the Norwegian converted only three times in his last ten EPL games.

Playing at home before the match with Arsenal, the Sky Blues had scored in 58 consecutive games. As for the Birmingham side, it is uncertain whether they can be productive in offence without their systemically important striker, especially because the Mancunians concede the least in the EPL home games (0.8 on average). We expect that Manchester City will be closer to victory, while Aston Villa, who have already had success against the Citizens this season while also feeling unfazed on the road, will offer worthy resistance and will try to play primarily for a draw.

Parimatch News staff prediction:

We say: Manchester City will not lose with an individual total of less than 2.5 – Yes.

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