Aston Villa vs Manchester City
Match Difficulty Grade
A+ Villa’s problematic home form will be seriously put to test on Saturday against Manchester City, a team with very high morale after their derby victory last weekend. Could be the toughest test of the season so far.
Manuel Pellegrini on Aston Villa
“I am sure that nobody is thinking about Bayern Munich. We will only think about Aston Villa. They are a strong team playing at home and we need to play a very good game if we want to win.
And we need to win away. We lost one at Cardiff and drew at Stoke for different reasons. It is the past now and I don’t continue talking about those two games but we have the opportunity to win against Aston Villa and it is important for us to reach the best position of the table. We are thinking just for the next match.
After we finish the match against Aston Villa, we will just start thinking about the match against Bayern Munich, not before. The whole squad, me and the staff are only thinking about a win against Aston Villa.
David Silva is not in the squad list, Sergio Aguero and Martin Demichelis are not available for this match. Aguero finished the derby with a small pain. It is nothing important but I think it is a risk for him to play three games in the same week. We will leave him for Wednesday [against Bayern Munich] when he will be absolutely fit.”
Lambert on Villa’s woeful home form
“You need to win your home games. You should have a good solid base at home, but we seem to be doing it the other way around at the moment, winning away from home, and finding it hard at home. I don’t know why that is. It’s strange.
It’s not as if we set our stall out any differently. We always go out to try and win every game we play in, and I’ll never change that. We’ve too many fans who come to watch us, so we can’t sit back.
Sometimes we are forced to because visiting teams get on top of you, but we never deliberately set out to defend.”
Form is Temporary
22nd January 2011
Aston Villa 1 Manchester City 0
It was a goal from Darren Bent on his debut that secured all three points, despite Villa having 30% of the possession – a crucial win during nervous times for Gerard Houllier.
Aston Villa: Last five Premier League matches at home: W 1, D 1, L 3
Manchester City: Last five Premier League matches away: W 1, D 2, L 2
In the last five meetings at Villa Park, Villa have won twice, drawn once and lost twice.
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
With the Pellegrini era off to a good start, Villa will have to perform to their very best standard to register their first home points of the season. Without Benteke goals might be hard to come by, which is no sort of problem for a City team who have scored 14 goals in their last five games (in all competitions). With only three home wins in the whole of 2013 in the league for Villa, it’s a very difficult match in which to better that record. The odds point to Villa starting the season with three straight losses at home.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
While Villa boast a number of attacking options, Benteke’s presence has been a key factor to our improving goal rate. He might be notable by his absence on Saturday but Kozak stepped in and scored last weekend within a couple of minutes of his introduction, so there are at least signs that we have a plan B. With Bacuna showing his versatility and playing well we are beginning to see a welcome depth to the squad. Villa played poorly in their defeat to Spurs on Tuesday, but with some first-teamers added to the squad lets hope we see more promise from those new and those returning, especially Albrighton – one of the few positives from the cup game.
Why Villa have got this game in the bag
Villa have suffered heavy defeats in recent years while visiting the Etihad but home performances have been closer games. We lost last season (in the midst of our revival) due to an individual error by Clark and had a fair share of chances to score. It was slightly surprising to research City’s away form and learn that they have yet to win away this season. If Villa show the defensive resilience displayed at Carrow Road there’s no reason we can’t pick up a point or three from Pellegrini’s men. UTV.
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