If following the Premier League teaches you anything, it’s to take very little for granted. This is especially the case for Manchester City, whose season has been nothing short of humbling. With that said, we do think they’ll likely be coming into this match with a great deal of confidence. They’ve slowly been getting their mojo back following a loss to Wolves, picking apart Sheffield United and Everton, and besting Port Vale and Manchester United away from the league.
Aston Villa, on the other hand, have been trying to pull themselves away from their four-match losing streak in December, which they broke with a 1-0 win over Norwich. Unfortunately for them, a 3-0 loss to Watford and failures in the FA and EFL Cup have further eroded their momentum. Still, City have been upset too many times to underestimate their opponents here.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City Prediction: Aston Villa 0-3 Man City
Although we want to reiterate that we think an Aston Villa victory is very much a possibility, we can’t imagine many arguing it is the most likely outcome here. Even in the light of the other surprise losses City have endured, this would still be viewed as a huge upset – and for good reason. Even on the backfoot, City have been getting better results and putting in better performances than Aston Villa, who are struggling to find any consistency. With that said, we’re expecting a strong victory for Manchester City here, with a scoreline prediction of 3-0.
Our recommended tip: Man City win both halves
We think there’s an excellent set of odds available on this prediction, as we would put this as being fairly heavily weighted on the likely side of possibilities. Man City don’t just tend to win matches, they tend to dominate them, so we think them winning both halves is very much something we can see happening. For instance, you would have won with this bet in Manchester City’s last two games. If you agree that the away side will be victorious in both halves, you will find very generous medium-risk 11/10 odds on this result from Unibet.
Statistically speaking, the difference in wins and losses between Manchester City and Aston Villa isn’t that great. City have the upper hand, but not by much. However, considering the first game took place in 1899, this information may need to be taken with a pinch of salt. Their more modern – and therefore more relevant – encounters see the defending Premier League champions as much more dominant in this fixture. They lost only one of their last 10 matches and won eight of them. Furthermore, their last three matches saw them win 3-0 and 4-0 twice.
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Players to watch: Tom Heaton & Gabriel Jesus
Aston Villa: Orjan Nyland
It may be typical to put potential goalscorers here because they are what so often drives a match forward. However, if we are being honest, we think Aston Villa are going to very much be on the backfoot here, which means a busy night for goalkeeper Orjan Nyland. How well Aston Villa fare in this contest – and we think their best tactic might be trying to grind this down to a draw – will very much depend on how well he performs.
Manchester City: Gabriel Jesus
The sheer amount of talent available in the Manchester City squad always makes this a tough one to pick. In terms of sheer depth, there’s so few teams who can compete. With that in mind, we’re going to go with Gabriel Jesus off the back of his astonishing, match-winning performance over Everton in City’s last Premier League outing. Really though, there are several others who could justifiably be placed here.