Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Tuesday May 6 2014
The Etihad Stadium
City's 56th competitive fixture this season will have enormous ramifications for the destiny of the Premier League title. Aston Villa are coming to town...
'We prepare exactly the same as we prepare for all the games during the year. We know the next game is the most important game. We are not going to win the Premier League on Wednesday if we win. We must win and then we will see what happens on Sunday. I repeat, in the Premier League nobody knows who can win the game. We will try to do our best and the players are conscious that we depend just on these two games.'
'Everybody knows pressure can affect different people in different ways but you look at City's squad and their players are world class, but we are not going there just to make up the numbers, we're going there to try to win. You have to run a lot and run without the ball at City. We're going to have to work really hard without the ball but you also know you've got to try to win the game and that's what we're going to try and do. We'll go there now in a lot better place than we were before the Hull game.'
Matija Nastasić - Back in Training, will not play.
Described aptly as an enigmatic phenomenon in the VMC City Chat forum this week, Bosnia's 'Diamond' has continued to score crucial goals for Manchester City and has now racked up 43 strikes in 16 Premier League appearances. The 28 year old giant will lead the line again and don't bet against him adding to his current run of 7 goals in 9 league starts.
LATE FITNESS TEST:
It isn't easy singling out a dangerman from Villa's wretched recent run, but you must watch a striker who has finally found the back of the net like the young Austrian did twice against Hull last time out. Although not that liked by the Villa faithful, I rate him and he'll be expected to play an important role in The Villans' counter attacks.
THE NUMBERS GAME:
City have won the last 6 league home matches against Villa and The Blues, with 18, have recorded more Premier League wins against Villa than against any other club.
The Blues have scored 15 goals in the last 5 fixtures at The Etihad and have failed to score only once in the last 67 home matches. 0-1 v Chelsea this season.
City have scored 96 Premier League goals this season, already eclipsing the the club record of 93 set in 2011-12`s title winning campaign.
HEAD TO HEAD:
League: 59 City Wins, 38 Draws, 52 Villa Wins
League Cup: 1 City Win, 3 Villa Wins
FA Cup: 6 City Wins, 2 Draws, 2 Villa Wins
Total: 67 City Wins, 40 Draws, 57 Villa Wins
THIS COULD BE THE LAST TIME:
Sa 28 Sep 2013 Aston Villa 3 - 2 Man City PL
Mo 04Mar 2013 Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man City PL
Sa 17Nov 2012 Man City 5 - 0 Aston Villa PL
Tu 25Sep 2012 Man City 2 - 4 Aston Villa CC
Su 12Feb 2012 Aston Villa 0 - 1 Man City PL
Sa 15Oct 2011 Man City 4 - 1 Aston Villa PL
Betting: City 1/7 Draw 17/2 Villa 20 Racing Post Soccerbase
FORM LAST 6 GAMES ALL COMPETITIONS:
CLICK HERE TO MAKE YOUR PREDICTIONS AND FOLLOW THE GAME LIVE IN THE VMC FORUM
TV COVERAGE: Sky Sports 1 HD
mcfcofficial: PELLEGRINI: City v Villa Press Conference
Michael Oliver from Northumberland 4th Official: P Dowd -Last Season: Su 11Nov 2012 Man City 2 - 1 Tottenham PL, Tu 01Jan 2013 Man City 3 - 0 Stoke PL - This Season: Sa 19Oct 2013 West Ham 1 - 3 Man City PL, Sa 04Jan 2014 Blackburn 1 - 1 Man City FAC3, Tu 25Mar 2014 Man Utd 0 - 3 Man City PL -2012/13: 39 Games, 105 Yellows, 1 Red. -2013/14: 36 Games, 135 Yellows, 4 Reds.
Johnny On The Spot: Be ruthless City. Sky, BT and BBC Sport channels with their legion of ex Liverpool pundits are not alone in their crestfallen, funereal reaction to the long assumed 'Peoples Champions' implosion as the heat becomes white hot in the title race. There's been a swift hack following of Brendan Rodgers' line that City will now win the title from the aforementioned various 'Liverpool TV2's' but The Blues still have hard work to do to realise a second title and a fourth trophy inside three years. They must also do it without their talisman Kun Agüero who played a key role in City's hunting down of The Stretfords this time two years ago. That said, this is a squad campaign played out over 38 matches and despite using the least players (23) than all this season's title contenders, time and again a City side which has shipped lengthy injuries to important players whilst competing on four fronts has found the player input required to get the results. City boss Manuel Pellegrini has demonstrated an almost unnoticed cunning savvy in shuffling his pack as required...Admittedly, there are no games that are a given at this level in any circumstance as Liverpool naively found to their cost at Selhurst Park. Complacency is not an option. But I'm not buying the line that Aston Villa are going to pull off a shock at The Etihad. This isn't a side who have stormed to Premier League safety the way The Eagles have, it is a team that have picked up just two points from their last seven away games, and have lost the last four. In fact, The Villans win against Hull at the weekend was their first in seven games. With what is at stake, further enhanced by City's experience in this situation and The Engineer's one game at a time focused professionalism, I can't see anything else other than a home win, and a good one at that, especially if City score early in response to The Blues ludicrous defeat at Villa Park last summer. City 3 Villa 0
all times East Manchester BST
Su 11May 15h00, West Ham, The Etihad, PL
Date:Tuesday May 6 2014
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