Aston Villa host Manchester City at Villa Park on Feb. 12 in a must-win situation for City if they hope to regain first place. Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday propelled them into first place in the English Premier League with 58 points. City, with 57 points can leapfrog their neighbours with a win over Villa or draw level with them if they draw.
Villa has been a big disappointment this season even though they have a pretty good squad and haven’t won at home since beating Norwich 3-2 back on Nov. 5. Many Villa fans are upset with manager Alex McLeish and are planning on protesting during the game against City. It’s hard to blame them since Villa has slid all the way down to 14th place in the table with 28 points from six wins, eight draws and 10 losses. The fans aren’t too happy with just six wins in 24 league games so far.
Villa has one win, two draws and two losses in their past five games while City has three wins, a draw and a loss. In their last five meetings against each other City has won four and lost one. It looks like Villa will be without Chris Herd, while Gabriel, Agbonlahor, Marc Albrighton, and James Collins are all questionable due to injuries. It will also be striker Robbie Keane’s last home game for Villa before he heads back to America to begin training with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Manchester City is still without Kolo Toure and Yaya Toure as the brothers are still competing in the Africa Cup of Nations. Sami Nasri will; be a game-time decision due an injured groin while Mario Balotelli is suspended and Carlos Tevez is suspended by the team.
Manchester City lost their last road game, which was to Everton and they’ve only won once overall in their last six away matches and twice overall in their last nine. However, Villa has kept a clean sheet just once in their past 11 contests and they’ll be facing the league’s highest-scoring team in City with 63 league goals.
They’re the first team to reach that many goals in 24 games since Arsenal and Spurs each scored 65 in their first two dozen matches back in the 1963-64 season. But with all their goals, City has managed just one in their past four road games. In fact, the last time they scored two or more goals in an away game came on Nov. 5 when they beat QPR 3-2. City managed to beat Villa 4-1 at home earlier in the season, but haven’t won at Villa Park since 2006 when they earned all three points with a 3-1 victory.
This could end up being a pretty close game, but City will likely manage to pull out a win by two goals at the most.
The latest odds offered by sportsbook William Hill have a Villa win at 9/2 and a City victory at 4/6 and a draw at 5/2. Get free bets via the banner at the top!