Chris Bland (@blandc_1996) previews Manchester City v Aston Villa and provides us with his best bets ahead of Saturday's early kick-off by analysing team news, potential line-ups, head-to-head, key stats and facts and more.

  • 2019/2020 Season Profit & Loss: +2.86pts

Manchester City v Aston Villa Betting Preview, Odds & Tips

  • Date: 26/10/19
  • Time: 12:30
  • Venue: Etihad Stadium
  • Channel: BT Sport 1

Manchester City bounced back from a defeat to Wolves before the International break with two convincing wins over Crystal Palace (2-0) and Atalanta (5-1), and will be full of confidence of making it three on the bounce against Dean Smith’s Aston Villa side.

Sat 12th in the league, Aston Villa are unbeaten in their last four in all competitions, and will come into this game full of confidence. The goals have been flowing, and their last away outing was a 5-1 win over Norwich City, which was followed up by a late 2-1 win over Brighton last weekend, as they eventually broke down a resolute Seagulls defence in stoppage time courtesy of Matt Targett.

Manchester City will be keen to cut the gap at the top of the league once again and heap the pressure on Liverpool ahead of their game with Tottenham on Sunday, and after Leicester’s 9-0 win last night, require at least a point to move back into second.

Team News

Rodri and Oleksandr Zinchenko were both ruled out this week for six weeks, as they added to Manchester City’s defensive issues. Laporte and Sane remain out with long term injuries.

Dean Smith has a full-strength squad to pick from for Aston Villa.

Potential Manchester City Starting XI: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Fernandinho, Mendy; De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva; Mahrez, Aguero, Sterling

Potential Aston Villa Starting XI: Heaton; Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Nakamba, Hourihane; El Ghazi, Wesley, Grealish

Head To Head

  • Manchester City Wins – 71
  • Draws – 41
  • Aston Villa Wins – 57

Key Stats & Facts

  • Referee Graham Scott has officiated seven games this season, giving out 22YC/2RC.
  • Kevin de Bruyne has eight assists this season in the League.
  • Sergio Aguero (8) and Raheem Sterling (6) top the scoring charts for City.
  • Wesley is top scoring for Aston Villa in the league with 4.
  • Guilbert has picked up 3 yellow cards this season at right back for Villa.

Betting Odds

  • Manchester City 1/10
  • Draw 14/1
  • Aston Villa 33/1

The Verdict

Given Manchester City’s price heading into this game, it is worth straying away from this in search for value. Balancing a Carabao Cup game on Tuesday against Southampton, second guessing Guardiola’s side is always tough, especially given the luxuries he has up top, so goalscoring markets are a tough ask before his team is announced.

Defensive injuries continue to mount up, and Rodri and Zinchenko will both be sorely missed over the next six weeks. Given their susceptibility to the counter and Wesley’s aerial ability up top, Aston Villa will look to sit in before utilising the likes of Jack Grealish and John McGinn on the break. They’ll be full of confidence given the form of the past few weeks, and with City’s backline looking sparse, they should be able to muster some scoring opportunities. The central midfield from a defensive point of view is particularly concerning for City, and with Rodri out injured and Fernandinho expected to start at centre back, dealing with Grealish and McGinn will fall to German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who in comparison to the aforementioned Spaniard and Brazilian midfielders, doesn’t offer the same solidity, particularly against the break.

As a result, it is a tempting option to take one of the Aston Villa midfielders to have a shot on target. John McGinn stands out at 6/4 (SkyBet), given the space available on the counter, and his average of 3.33 shots per 90 minutes, as well as his three goals this season. It is worth noting Wesley (1/1 SkyBet) and Grealish (9/4 SkyBet) are both also above evens on this one, and given the nature of the game, are definitely interesting prospects.

However, it is still hard to look past a City win, and given Villa’s tendency to commit men forward to attack, they should be allowed the space to break down Villa’s defence. A scary goals tally of 29 this season in the league, coupled with an xG of 29.54, means that goals for City takes appeal. Aston Villa’s expected goals against of 14.78 has meant they have been slightly flattered by the against tally of 13 this season, and as a result I am expecting City to create plenty of chances. Given Aston Villa’s ability on the break, there is a good chance of them at least netting at the Etihad on Saturday afternoon, and as a result Manchester City and Over 3.5 goals takes appeal.

Recommended Bets

  • 1pt – Manchester City and Over 3.5 goals – 61/100 (Bet365)
  • 0.5pts – Jack Grealish 1+ shots on target – 9/4 (SkyBet)