Manchester City take on Aston Villa in a clash between two sides nearing the top of the Premier League table. Villa have won nine of their 14 league matches under Unai Emery this season and could jump ahead of City if they beat them at Villa Park tonight.
Forward Ollie Watkins has been in great touch scoring eight goals and the hosts will need his clinical touch if they are going to take points away from Pep Guardiola’s side.
Man City in contrast are going through something of a slump. A 3-3 draw against Tottenham was their third stalemate in a row meaning City are six points behind league leaders Arsenal.
Three points are a must for the reigning champions if they want to keep up the apce with the Gunners.
Aston Villa stunned Manchester City with a fully-deserved 1-0 win on Wednesday thanks to a deflected shot from Leon Bailey, leaving the reigning Premier League champions in an unfamiliar fourth position and six points off the top.
Unai Emery’s Villa, enjoying their best season for years, oozed with confidence and dominated the game throughout, leap-frogging City to third in the table.
After squandering a hanful of chances, Villa’s winner came in the 74th minute when Bailey took the ball just past the halfway line, ran at City’s defence and unleashed a shot that hit Ruben Dias’ foot to beat goalkeeper Ederson.
Minutes later, Douglas Luiz struck the post for the hosts, who could have won by a larger margin in a surprisingly one-sided game, to the noisy delight of the majority at Villa Park.
The result left Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City on 30 points after 15 games – six points behind leaders Arsenal – and without a win in their last four Premier League matches.
Aston Villa moved up to third on 32 points, two behind Liverpool and four behind Arsenal.
Leon Bailey’s deflected strike gave Aston Villa a club-record 14th consecutive home win and extended the winless slump for Premier League champions Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola’s side came into the match after draws with Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham — matches they led six times in total. However, the 1-0 scoreline from Villa Park scarcely tells the story of a game in which the treble winners were utterly dominated from start to finish.
Emiliano Martinez made a fabulous double save to deny Erling Haaland in the 11th minute. Those proved to be the only shots City managed in the entire match.
Wave after wave of Villa attacks meant Ederson needed to be in inspired form from early saves to deny Ollie Watkins and Pau Torres onwards.