Manchester City have the chance to move top of the Premier League table when they host Aston Villa on Wednesday evening. Pep Guardiola’s team improved slowly over the Christmas period and, since the turn of the year, they have been the team to watch at the top end thanks to some consistent displays and defensive resilience.
Five wins in a row have come alongside four clean sheets, with the newfound partnership at the back of Ruben Dias and John Stones really developing in style. The latter netted twice in the 4-0 win over Palace, sending City into second on Sunday night, and this fixture is their game in hand which will take them level on matches played with the likes of Man United, Leicester and Liverpool – and a point clear if they win.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the game.
The game kicks off at 6pm on Wednesday, 20 January 2021.
The game will be shown live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Extra 1. Subscribers can also stream the match via the BT Sport app and desktop website.
Sergio Aguero is still a doubt for City after a long spell of hit-and-miss fitness. Defensive trio Nathan Ake, Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia could all be missing but wouldn’t be likely to return to the line-up in any case due to the form of John Stones and Ruben Dias in recent weeks.
As for Aston Villa, they are likely to be with most of their first-team squad after a period away from the training ground and without matches – though it remains to be seen if Ross Barkley is able to start after two months out. Wesley and Trezeguet are the ongoing injury issues.
MCI – Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Zinchenko; De Bruyne, Gundogan, Rodri; Mahrez, Sterling, Foden
AST – Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Luiz, McGinn; El Ghazi, Grealish, Traore; Watkins
Villa’s lack of recent game time will ultimately go against them, whether that’s 90-minute fitness for some players or just the speed and rhythm of play. Against other clubs it might not be such an issue; against an in-form Man City it’ll be near-impossible to keep them out. City 2-0 Villa.