Manchester City will face off against struggling Aston Villa at the Villa Park on Sunday in the Premier League in their quest to catch up with Liverpool.
Pep Guardiola’s side have the opportunity to move into second place after Leicester City lost to Southampton at the King Power on Saturday. City come into this game having defeated neighbours Manchester United at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Dean Smith and his side continue to encounter difficulties since their return to the top-flight despite a heavy investment made in the squad. The Villans have recorded just six wins from the 21 Premier League games played and it doesn’t get any better.
Aston Villa find themselves just one point above the drop zone and a loss wouldn’t do any better for them. Just one win in their last three games in all competitions isn’t a good record and the worst thing Dean Smith will be expecting at this time is to be playing the defending champions.
WHEN AND WHERE?
Venue: Villa Park
Date: Sunday, January 12
Time: 4:30 PM
Aston Villa have lost nine of their last 11 Premier League meetings with Manchester City, winning 3-2 in September 2013 and drawing 0-0 in November 2015.
Manchester City have kept a clean sheet in eight of their last 10 Premier League meetings with Aston Villa, including each of the last three. Indeed, they’ve won their last two league games against the Villans by an aggregate score of 7-0.
Aston Villa have picked up six points in their last three Premier League games (W2 D0 L1), two more than in their previous nine games in the competition (W1 D1 L7). Villa have won only three of their 49 Premier League matches against the reigning champions (D14 L32), losing each of their last 11 in a row.
Under Pep Guardiola, Man City have lost three of their four Premier League away games in January, winning only against Huddersfield last year (3-0).
Manchester City have been trailing for five hours and seven minutes in the Premier League this season – 22 minutes more than they had in their previous two campaigns combined (four hours, 45 minutes).
After arriving on loan from Chelsea, Danny Drinkwater could make his debut on Sunday. Matt Targett should be okay to face the champions but Jonathan Kodjia is likely to miss out. Keinan Davis is sidelined along with Tom Heaton and Wesley, who both had surgery on season-ending knee injuries this week, as well as John McGinn and Jed Steer.
Ederson is likely to return the post for Manchester City after four games out, with Kevin De Bruyne given all clear to be involved. Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane ruled out.
Aston Villa: Nyland; Guilbert, Konsa, Mings, Hause, Targett; Trezeguet, Nakamba, Luiz, Grealish; El Ghazi
Man City: Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Fernandinho, Mendy; Rodri, De Bruyne, Gundogan; Bernardo, Aguero, Sterling
Aston Villa 0-3 Manchester City.