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Manchester City vs. Aston Villa

City of Manchester Stadium

14/03/06

19:45

On Sky

City look to 1/4 Finals

City and Villa fight for the right to entertain either Bolton or West Ham in the FA cup quarter final next Monday. Villa will still perhaps be kicking themselves after having this tie all but sealed at Villa Park. However Micah Richards' late headed goal was enough to earn City a deserved replay and another chance of progressing.

City have a pretty good recent record against Villa, unbeaten in the last seven games between the sides, and have won all three games between the sides at Eastlands. Earlier in the season it was 3-1 to City with ex Villa striker, Darius Vassell, helping himself to a couple of goals against his former club.

After Saturday's poor defeat at Portsmouth the FA cup has taken on an even greater significance for City. A European place is unlikely in the league, so the cup is all that is now really left to play for.

Expect an open game with plenty of chances for both sides and hopefully a good cup atmosphere as City make their first quarter final since 92.

Psycho Speaks:

Speaking of the growing speculation over the England job, Stuart Pearce shows where his current responsibilities are.

“It's not a distraction for me but to be fair I don't take a deal of interest in it. My head's been full of Portsmouth versus Manchester City all weekend and now this morning it's full of Manchester City versus Aston Villa.”

Manchester City Team News:

Cole is still missing, so Samaras and Vassell will start. Sylvain Distin faces a late fitness test after missing the Portsmouth game with a groin injury. Barton and Sinclair are carrying niggling injuries but both should start. With Reyna looking off the pace at Portsmouth, Musampa may revert to central midfield with Riera returning on the left.

Player to watch: Darius Vassell

Off the pace of late and a shocking miss in the first game at Villa Park. Expect a reproduction of the form that saw him grab two goals in the 3-1 home win.

Aston Villa Team News:

Millner faces a lte fitness test. If he fails Moore should start on the left. Berger returns to the squad after a lengthy absence.

Player to watch: Milan Baros

Surely his finishing can't be as poor as it was at Blackburn at the weekend?

Match Facts & Stats

Villa are something of a banker for City of late. Seven unbeaten in all competitions and wins in all three games between the sides to have been played at Eastlands make City favourites to progress.

Ref Watch:

Phil Dowd .... Let the game flow.

Match Prediction:

Villa had their chance and messed it up in injury time at Villa Park. City should continue their good home form and win 2-1.

Next Fixture:

Sat 18th March: Wigan (h)




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The journalist

Writer: Andy Leggott Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday March 13 2006

Time: 5:21PM

Your Comments

If the atmosphere at the replay is only half as good as it was at Villa Park, it will be a great occasion - it was like football used to be. I think it'll be another close game because I'm sure Villa won't play as rubbish as they did in the first leg, and it's perfectly set up for Darius to rub Villa's noses in it once again. I hope all you Blues will make the effort to be there and support your team...much better than watching it on TV!
bluetone
I refer to my previous statement - what a game....end to end stuff and Darius didn't let me down, although he probably didn't know much about his goal. Come on City...keep it going now - same again on Monday please!
bluetone
 

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