We look ahead to what should be an exciting Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester City with our prediction and preview. Can Unai Emery’s men down the champions?
Aston Villa vs Manchester City: The Quick Hits
- The Opta supercomputer predicts Manchester City as the likely victors at Villa Park, with Pep Guardiola’s side winning 56.8% of its simulations against Aston Villa.
- The hosts are winless in 13 Premier League matches against Man City (D2 L11), dating back to September 2013.
- Villa have triumphed in their last 13 Premier League home games overall, though, which is the longest ongoing run in the competition.
Manchester City will be looking to end a three-game winless run in the Premier League when they visit Aston Villa for an enticing clash at Villa Park on Wednesday.
Pep Guardiola’s defending champions have not triumphed in the league since a 6-1 hammering of Bournemouth at the start of November, having been held to a thrilling 4-4 draw at Chelsea before back-to-back home draws with Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
Ange Postecoglou’s visitors looked out of Sunday’s contest at the Etihad Stadium after Jack Grealish’s 81st-minute strike, only for Dejan Kulusevski to head in a 90th-minute equaliser to snatch a 3-3 draw for Spurs.
Son Heung-min’s own goal had earlier proved his sixth-minute opener redundant before Giovani Lo Celso restored parity after Phil Foden edged last season’s UEFA Champions League winners ahead in what was another eye-catching Premier League encounter between the two sides.
A third successive draw saw City slip three points behind leaders Arsenal and one behind second-placed Liverpool heading into Matchday 15, where Guardiola will be without two key players.
Rodri and Grealish will both be absent from City’s lineup at Villa Park as the pair will serve one-match suspensions for racking up five yellow cards each. City have lost both the Premier League games Rodri has not started this term (vs Wolves and Arsenal), compared to nine wins in 12 when the Spain midfielder has featured from kick-off, while Guardiola remains without star creative asset Kevin De Bruyne as well as injured midfielder Matheus Nunes.
The visiting champions can at least call upon talisman Erling Haaland, who could become just the third player to score two or more goals in three consecutive appearances on the road, after Dennis Bergkamp (for Arsenal in September 1997) and Harry Kane (for Tottenham in September 2017) following the Norwegian’s doubles against Manchester United and Chelsea.
Villa boss Unai Emery has never beaten Guardiola in 13 previous meetings across spells with Valencia, Arsenal and the Villans (D4 L9), losing all of his last five as well, but he may fancy his chances on Wednesday.
Emery’s side are fourth in the league table and just one point behind last season’s treble winners after salvaging a 2-2 draw on Sunday against Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. Leon Bailey levelled proceedings after Antoine Semenyo’s 10th-minute finish before Ollie Watkins produced a 90th-minute equaliser to snatch a point following Dominic Solanke’s second-half strike.
It is at home where the heart is for Watkins, though, with the England striker directly involved in 15 goals in his last 15 Premier League home games for Villa, scoring 11 and assisting four.
As for team news for the visitors, Emery will be without long-term absentees Emiliano Buendía, Tyrone Mings and Bertrand Traoré, although Boubacar Kamara could return from suspension.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City Opta Player Ratings
Before kick-off in this match, here are the top five performing players from both teams in the 2023-24 Premier League according to the Opta Player Ratings:
Ollie Watkins: 75.4
Douglas Luiz: 75.1
John McGinn: 73.0
Leon Bailey: 69.7
Moussa Diaby: 67.1
Erling Haaland: 81.1
Bernardo Silva: 79.4
Jérémy Doku: 77.2
Kyle Walker: 76.9
These Opta Player Ratings also power our set of brand-new, free-to-play gaming experiences, which you can play on Opta Analyst all season long.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City: Head-to-Head
The recent record in this fixture offers little optimism for Emery’s men, given City have not lost in 13 Premier League games against Villa (D2 W11) since a 3-2 reverse in the Midlands in September 2013.
City have also scored at least once in 17 of their last 18 Premier League games against Villa (48 goals in total) – the exception being a goalless draw at Villa Park in November 2015.
Villa have won just four of their 56 Premier League games against reigning champions (D15 L37), too, with each one coming against a different side – 2-0 v Blackburn in February 1996, 3-2 v Arsenal in December 1998, 1-0 v Man Utd in December 2009 and 7-2 against Liverpool in October 2020.
The hosts did manage a 1-1 draw in this fixture last season as Bailey’s 74th-minute strike cancelled out Haaland’s opener, although City were 3-1 victors at the Etihad Stadium in their most recent meeting in February.
All three scorers for Guardiola’s side on that day will be absent at Villa Park, though, with Rodri suspended, while Ilkay Gündogan – now of Barcelona – and Al-Ahli’s Riyad Mahrez departed in the summer.
Villa’s form will have Guardiola pondering how to keep Villa Park quiet as the hosts have won their last 13 Premier League home games, the longest ongoing run in the division.
Only twice in Villa’s league history have they won more consecutive home games, having 14-game winning runs way back between January and November 1903, and between December 1930 and October 1931.
Villa are unbeaten in their last five games across all competitions, beating Tottenham and Fulham in the Premier League as well as two UEFA Europa Conference League victories before the Bournemouth draw.
City’s away record is starting to leave a lot to be desired, with Guardiola’s treble-winners triumphing in just one of their last four Premier League away games (D1 L2) – a 3-0 win at fierce rivals Man Utd is their only victory in that time after losses to Wolves and Arsenal before the 4-4 draw with Chelsea.
They’ve conceded two or more goals in two of those four games (against Wolves and Chelsea), as many times as in their previous 22 on the road in the league as Guardiola seeks improvements away from the Etihad.
Opta Power Rankings
The Opta Power Rankings are a global team ranking system that assigns an ability score to over 13,000 domestic football teams on a scale between zero and 100, where zero is the worst-ranked team in the world and 100 is the best team in the world.
Ahead of kick-off on Wednesday, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City Prediction
Among our midweek Premier League predictions, this one might surprise some people. Man City go in as heavy favourites to reignite their title charge at Villa Park, winning 56.8% of the Opta supercomputer simulations against Aston Villa, who triumphed in just 18.4% of the data-powered scenarios.
A draw appears more likely than a win for Emery’s side, with a tie occurring in 24.8% of the 10,000 simulations, although that would do little to help Guardiola’s quest for a fourth straight Premier League title.
And yes, City are still big favourites to lift England’s top-flight trophy again, with the Opta supercomputer predicting another title-winning season in 67.3% of simulations, while Villa – who have a slim 0.6% chance of winning the Premier League – secure a top-four finish in 39.5% of the data-powered predictions.