Manchester City will have to do something no team in the Premier League has managed this season if they are to snap a three-match winless run.
Pep Guardiola’s side were pegged back by a late equaliser once again during Sunday’s 3-3 rollercoaster draw with Tottenham, the champions’ third consecutive domestic draw.
It leaves City third in the table behind Arsenal and Liverpool and a defeat at Aston Villa on Wednesday would see Unai Emery’s side leapfrog them.
Villa have won six out of six on home turf in the Premier League this season, scoring at least three goals in each win.
That represents something of a daunting prospect for Guardiola’s side, who will be without Rodri and former Villa favourite Jack Grealish through suspension, while Jeremy Doku is a doubt after limping out of the Tottenham match. Doku’s compatriot Kevin De Bruyne is likely to remain out until the new year after hamstring surgery.
When Rodri was banned for three domestic games following a red card against Nottingham Forest earlier in the season, City lost all three matches. How Guardiola elects to fill the Spain international’s considerable void in defensive midfield might end up being crucial to the overall outcome at Villa Park.
Aston Villa vs Man City match facts
- Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2023
- Kickoff Time: 8:15 p.m. local time (3:15 p.m. ET)
- Location: Villa Park (Birmingham, England)
- Last meeting: Manchester City 3-1 Aston Villa (February 12, 2023)
Aston Villa vs Man City prediction, odds
- Full-time result: Aston Villa (+333)
- Score prediction: Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester City (+1250)
After three Premier League titles in a row, it feels perilous to bet against City. But in this instance, it’s important to assess the evidence in front of our eyes.
Guardiola’s team are out of form and have key personnel in varying states of fitness. They’re susceptible to direct attacks and pace in behind, two things Villa have in abundance.
Emery’s men have been in sensational, prolific form at home and Ollie Watkins is on 14 goals for the season having scored in each of his past four matches across all competitions.
The expectation is that Guardiola will try to revert towards a more controlled and pragmatic approach in Rodri’s absence, as he did in October’s 1-0 defeat to Arsenal.
Don’t bank on another wild, open affair like City’s games against Chelsea and Spurs. That’s something to avoid at all costs against this Villa outfit but, backed by a home crowd, Watkins and company can punch enough holes in the treble winners to get the job done.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) December 4, 2023
to score Y / N
|Over / Under
|-190 / -135
|-210 / +145
Aston Villa vs Man City best bet
- Pick: Ollie Watkins to score and Aston Villa to win
- Odds: +500 (DraftKings)
As mentioned above, Watkins is in red-hot form. He also likes this fixture, with two goals and a pair of assists in six outings against City.
None of those have resulted in a win at this juncture, but Emery’s side are well-placed to change all that this week.
This bet is great value by virtue of City understandably being favourites for the win. The decent prospect of a Villa success and Watkins’ form make it very enticing.
By point of comparison, the odds on Oscar Bobb – the talented young Norway winger who is yet to start a Premier League or Champions League game – scoring in a City win are shorter than the price for Watkins in this instance.