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Aston Villa FC vs. Manchester City FC

Villa Park

22nd December 2007

3pm

Aston Villa v MCFC

City make the trip down the M6 maotorway to their favourite away ground in the country wherewe have secured more wins against Villa than we have against any other club and are potentially on a five match unbeaten run at Villa Park.

ity's narrow one nil victory at the City of Manchester Stadium in September was part of our magnificent home form, but travelling away has not been so kind to City and even though Villa's home record is not great, City will have to perform much better if they are to get anything out of this game.

Martin O'Neil on City

'I think City have done terrifically well, and despite the fact they had big money to spend in the summer, things had to be done quickly and it's difficult to get people to gel quickly, so it's great credit to the manager.

'They are where they deserve to be. Whatever their home or away form it doesn't matter because their overall points tally has put them where they are.

"It's a really big match for us to try to challenge the sides up around us and they have been in or near the top five all season.'

Villa defender Olof Mellberg added: 'Manchester City are definitely a good side. They've had that reaction Sven and the whole club wanted when he took over.

'They've done well and they're up there on merit. They're a team we're probably looking to battle with for a place in Europe.'

Aston Villa FC Team News:

There is a real chance of the two Bulgarian International Petrov's facing each other on opposing sides as Stiliyan looks to have recovered from a hamstring injury.

Central defender Curtis Davies is also pushing for a starting place after recovering from a broken nose.

Player to watch: Gabriel Agbonlahor

With England short on quality attacking options, surely it will not be long before this local lad makes the grade up to the full team as he has strength and pace and can finish well.

Manchester City FC Team News:

City will likely be without Michael Johnson as he struggles with his abductor injury and so Geovanni could start in his place.

tephen Ireland serves out his last game of his three match ban.

assell and Bianchi look to continue as City's attacking options with Martin Petrov and Elano linking up with them as Hamann continues in his holding role.

hether Garrido will retain the left back role is another matter but good news in that Joe Hart has been confirmed as City's No1 for the foreseeable future.

Player to watch: Blumer Elano

After a quiet game against Spurs I suspect he will influence the game far more tomorrow.

Match Facts & Stats

City have won the last three league games at Villa Park and produced probably their best display all season when they completely out played Villa to win three one with Vassell scoring his usual goal against his former club, although he could not find the net against Villa in September.

Ref Watch:

Lee Mason - Not a regular premiership referee, but this is his second City match this season when we beat Derby at home and he booked Hamann, Johnson and Petrov. Up until last weekend Lee had kept his red card in his pocket but then he sent two Burnley players off.

Match Prediction:

Although City have had travel sickness this season; I feel the Vassell factor will help secure City yet another victory over Villa by a narrow margin. 1 - 2 to City.

Next Fixtures:

City Home to Blackburn on December 27th with a 7:45pm kick off.




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The journalist

Writer: Gavin Cooper  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 21 2007

Time: 6:05PM

Your Comments

Typical that we finally sort out the full back situation and then get done via our centre backs - who were split, turned and out-gunned in the air on set plays. Very encouraging to see us pressing the game at 1-0 btw. Not so sure about the subs at 1-1, almost came unstuck without Hamann - it was a gamble and I'd rather Eriksson settled for the point. Best wishes from greater mancunia to all vital city contributors
Craig Cain
All the very best CC. Let's go for that 40 point target by New Years Eve! Then the Big Push will be definitely ON!
Johnny Baguette
To you and yours JB.
Craig Cain
All the best to you Craig(Gavin Cooper) - I disagree about Hamann sub - he was getting beat in the air left right and centre, plus he was looking sluggish against the quicker younger Villa players. We looked a lot better unit once Corluka and Garrido were on and that's why we finished the stronger team.
mcfcdaytona
Have a good one Gavin. Corluka went missing and showed a lack of discipline in the role which did expose the back four latterly. Agree Garrido is best at left midfield, interesting that SGE switched Petrov to accomodate.
Craig Cain
 

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