Aston Villa host Man City at Villa Park on Wednesday in the Premier League. After appointing Steven Gerrard, the hosts have won back-to-back matches. They face a City side playing some superb stuff and sitting just a point off top spot in the table. City have won their last seven matches against the Villains in all competitions with 23 goals scored.
Aston Villa Form
After following up a fine 1-0 win at Old Trafford with five consecutive defeats, Villa sacked manager Dean Smith. 13 goals conceded in those matches including leaking heavily at home – three to Wolves and four to West Ham – seemed to be the biggest concern.
Steven Gerrard took over and has overseen two wins in two matches. Against Brighton, the score was 0-0 after 83 minutes before two late goals by Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings to win it. That was followed up by a fine 2-1 win at Crystal Palace. With just 0.4 xG produced, it was something of a smash and grab win for Villa.
Aston Villa Team News
Villa have only two injury concerns and both are for wingers. Trezeguet is still out long-term and Bertrand Traore will miss a few more weeks.
Gerrard has a settled and solid XI which meant no place for Danny Ings over the weekend as he was an unused substitute whilst Douglas Luiz and Emi Buendia were only used from the bench. Ashley Young and Leon Bailey will continue down the flanks with Jacob Ramsey as the number ten.
Aston Villa Motivation
Villa look much more defensively solid under Steven Gerrard with hard-working wide players and a more disciplined shape in midfield. They will be forced to absorb plenty of pressure in this match and won’t bother about trying to compete in the possession stakes.
A draw would be a brilliant result at home but they may not set up for a point from the start.
Man City Form
City are in very strong form with five wins in their last six in the league with five clean sheets. Their only defeat during that run was a shock 2-0 home defeat to Crystal Palace. A convincing 3-0 home win against Everton was followed by a fine win against PSG. City came back from a goal down at home to win 2-1 as Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus scored.
Their last match saw a 2-1 home win against West Ham. They led 2-0 through goals by Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho before the Hammers pulled one back with the last kick of the game. With 2.2 xG put up and just 0.1 xG allowed for West Ham in a strong defensive display, City were very worthy winners.
Man City Team News
City remain without Kevin De Bruyne who has been suffering from symptomatic COVID-19. Ferran Torres is out injured in attack. This match is expected to come too soon for Phil Foden but Jack Grealish will be desperate to be on the bench against his former club.
Aymeric Laporte is suspended in defence so John Stones will start. Gabriel Jesus should keep his place in the front three.
Man City Motivation
It’s been a busy week for City but they will be fully focused and motivated for this match. Anything less than a win would be seen as a poor result.
City won’t change their style at all and will play to dominate the ball and territory from the first whistle.
City have conceded just 7 goals in 13 PL matches
Man City have won 7 matches in a row against Villa, scoring 23 goals
City have conceded in 3 of their last 5 PL matches
Villa have lost 2 of their last 3 home PL matches
Villa have scored in their last 7 home PL matches
City should win this match considering their very fine recent performances. Villa look much higher in confidence under Steven Gerrard and are defending solidly. Villa only produced 0.4 xG in their last match and may not trouble City’s backline a great deal.