Man City v Aston Villa – Betting Preview & Tips
Man City face Aston Villa at the Etihad with a win paramount in the quest for the title. Here’s Ciaran Bonass with the team news, odds and best bets.
City held out for a crucial 3-2 win over Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday, thanks to a brace from Edin Dzeko after Sergio Aguero had equalised Ross Barkley’s brilliant opener for the Toffees. A header from Romelu Lukaku’s with almost half an hour to play made it a nervy finish for Manuel Pellegrini’s side but they held out for a third win on the spin to go back to the top of the table and two wins away from a second title in three years, barring a remarkable turnaround in goal difference. A 3-2 loss at Anfield three weeks ago for the Citizens had looked to swing the advantage Liverpool’s way in the title race but remains City’s only loss in the Premier League since February.
Dzeko now has 14 league goals for the season, while Aguero is on 17.
A 3-1 win over Hull City last weekend ensured Villa’s survival with Andreas Weimann scoring twice for the hosts after Ashley Westwood netted in the first minute and a Jordan Bowery own goal levelled the scores. That brought an end to a run of six games without a win for Paul Lambert’s charges and their tally of 38 points with two games left to play would often see the Villans threatened by the drop and illustrates how poor those below them have performed this season. Of the teams in the lower half, only Sunderland have picked up more points away from home than Villa.
Aguero came off not long after scoring for City on Saturday but is expected to feature as the player himself claimed it was a precautionary measure. Jesus Navas and Matija Nastasic are still absent through injury with neither expected to feature before the season finishes.
Lambert has a huge list of absentees, particularly in forward positions, with Gabriel Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke, Libor Kozak and Nicklas Helenius all out through injury. Joe Bennett, Charles N’Zogbia, Jores Okore and Gary Gardner complete a lengthy injury list for Villa.
Villa earned one of only six home wins this season when City were the visitors to Villa Park back in September. Goals from Yaya Toure and Dzeko weren’t enough for the visitors as Karim El Ahmadi, Leandro Bacuna and Weimann earned Lambert’s side all three points. The Villans have won just two of the past nine between these teams, and have just one league win in 12 against these opponents.
Despite their weekend win, Villa would never have been expected to offer a serious threat to the hosts title bid, and their guarantee of safety makes their chances even less likely. City are massive favourites at 1/8 and as short as 3/10 on the -1 handicap, although they make a decent bet at 10/11 to win by more than 2.
With 19 goals to his name already midfielder Yaya Toure has had a terrific season and at 6/5 to score in a City win the Ivorian is well worth backing here too.