13 January 2020
Aston Villa and Manchester City will face off at Villa Park in contrasting circumstances. While the visitors hope to somehow reduce a 14-point gap on the Premier League (PL) toppers Liverpool, the hosts are fighting tooth and nail to avoid returning to the Championship.
The hosts enter this round frantically looking over their shoulders, as they currently hover just one point clear of the relegation zone. The Villans have endured mixed fortunes in their last eight competitive outings (W3, D1, L4), with three of their previous four results (win/loss) coming via a single-goal margin. Aston Villa’s problems to maintain consistency have seen them win two of their last four PL home fixtures, losing the other two. But, far more comfortable at home, the returnees have grabbed 14 of their total 20 PL points at Villa Park, although all four of their top-flight home triumphs have come against the sides from the bottom half of the table. Another success is unlikely to happen now, considering the Lions have suffered six defeats in their previous seven competitive H2Hs with City, drawing a blank on six of those occasions.
Meanwhile, rampant Manchester City have picked up four successive wins in all competitions ahead of this trip, scoring over 1.5 goals in each of those successes. What’s more, the reigning PL holders have won five of their last six competitive away games (L1), netting three or more goals in all of those victories. No team has scored more top-flight goals than City (56) so far, with the Citizens scoring an average of 2.66 goals per PL fixture. Pep Guardiola’s men can add a few more goals to their impressive tally, as they’ve bagged 3+ match goals in four of their last five H2Hs with Villa. The one potential worry for the traveling fans could be that City have failed to keep a blank sheet in four of their previous five PL road trips, conceding over 1.5 goals on three of those occasions.
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