Aston Villa vs Manchester City preview

February 11, 2012
By: Matthew Clarke

Aston Villa are looking to show some improvement after the away defeat to Newcastle, whereas Manchester hope to repeat the showing from the 3-0 victory over Fulham.

The Villans may be sitting in the bottom half of the standings at the moment, but Alex McLeish’s side have been showing a lot of promise of late and they are bound to start climbing the Premiership standings.

The return of Shay Given and Stephen Ireland, as well as the arrival of Robbie Keane acted as a major boost for the club, and we have seen a major improvement in the standard of their performances.

Despite failing to win any of their last three games, Villans played really well against Arsenal, QPR and Newcastle, so maybe this is the right time to finally see their luck change.

At 2.20 (6/5) offered by Stan James, double chance on Villa look a good bet, especially as Manchester City tend to struggle on the travels.

James Collins could return after recovering from a calf injury, whereas Gabriel Agbonlahor and Marc Albrighton should be available as well.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Given – Hutton, Dunne, Collins, Clark – Ireland, Petrov – Agbonlahor, Keane, N’Zogbia – Bent.

Manchester City recovered well from the disappointing defeat to Everton and the Citizens managed to create a two-point advantage at the top by beating Fulham at the weekend.

Roberto Mancini’s side could find themselves in the second place if Manchester United beat Liverpool, which could out them under pressure before the trip to Villa Park.

Having won just two of last nine away games in all competitions, the Citizens cannot be feeling too optimistic at the moment, especially as several key players are still unavailable.

Taking into account that Yaya Toure, Kolo Toure and Mario Balotelli are not in contention, odds of 1.73 (8/11) offered by William Hill on away win don’t look too tempting.

Roberto Mancini is hoping Vincent Kompany will be fit to play after missing the Fulham game with a knee injury, whereas Samir Nasri is also expected to start despite carrying a groin problem.

Probable starting line-up (4-2-3-1): Hart – Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy – Nasri, Barry – Milner, Aguero, Silva – Dzeko.

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