As the Premier League title race heats up, we look ahead with our Manchester City vs Aston Villa prediction and preview.

Manchester City vs Aston Villa Stats: Quick Hits

  • Manchester City are predicted to get back to winning ways by the Opta supercomputer, doing so in 63.1% of simulations.
  • Aston Villa won the reverse fixture 1-0 in December, having 22 shots at goal to Man City’s two.
  • City have won 17 of their last 18 Premier League home games against Villa (L1), including the last 13 in a row since a 2-0 defeat in April 2007.

Match Preview

The Premier League title race is getting very interesting as we enter the final nine games of the 2023-24 season.

Defending champions Manchester City lost their tag as favourites with the bookies, but also with the Opta supercomputer following their 0-0 draw with Arsenal on Sunday. They will look to make up the three-point gap to leaders Liverpool as well as keep pace with the Gunners when they entertain Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday.

Villa will need to improve their away record against reigning champions if they are to get anything. They have won just one of their last 30 away league games against defending top-flight champions (D6 L23), beating Manchester United 1-0 in December 2009. The Villans have lost their last nine such games by an aggregate score of 29-7.

Will the fact it’ll be played on a Wednesday night matter? City will hope so as they have won 27 of their last 29 Premier League games played on that day of the week (D1 L1), though their only defeat in that run was against Aston Villa in the reverse fixture this season when Leon Bailey fired in the winner. At home, City have won their last 19 Wednesday league games, and are unbeaten in 30 (W26 D4) since a 1-0 loss to Tottenham in May 2010.

While they may be playing catch up in the title race, this is the time of year when City so often shine. They have won 19 of their last 21 Premier League games in April (D1 L1) and are unbeaten in 11 since a 2-1 home loss to Leeds United in 2021.

Fourth-place Villa go into this game five points behind City having played a game more, but perhaps more crucially are still three points clear of fifth-place Tottenham and 11 ahead of Manchester United in sixth, having also played a game more than both.

Unai Emery’s side could be restricted in terms of their shots at the Etihad, but that might not matter as their shot conversion rate is 14.4% this season, their highest on record (since 1997-98) in a single Premier League campaign.

In the same timeframe, their record of 14.4 shots per game is their third highest in a season, after 2002-03 (16.2) and 2001-02 (14.7), so maybe they will find a regular route to City’s goal.

Villa shot location map

As for team news, Pep Guardiola hinted in his press conference on Tuesday that he could bring John Stones back into the starting lineup after he was only fit enough for the bench against Arsenal. However, he also said Kyle Walker and Ederson have “no chance” of playing, while Nathan Aké will also be unavailable after limping off on Sunday.

The visitors will be without top scorer Ollie Watkins, which is a particular shame for them as he has scored nine goals away from home in the Premier League this season. The last Villa player to net double figures on the road in a single top-flight campaign was Tony Hateley in 1965-66 (16).

Jhon Durán could come in to replace Watkins, while Moussa Diaby may also get another start. The France international has been involved in four goals in his last four Premier League appearances for Aston Villa (1 goal, 3 assists), despite starting just once in that time.

Jacob Ramsey will also be absent through injury while John McGinn faces the final game of his three-match suspension following his red card against Tottenham.

Manchester City vs Aston Villa Head-to-Head

Guardiola’s men should be confident of victory, with Man City having won 17 of their last 18 Premier League home games against Aston Villa (L1), including the last 13 in a row since a 2-0 defeat in April 2007.

However, Emery’s team did beat City 1-0 in the reverse fixture this season back in December, and it probably should have been more comfortable as they outplayed the champions at Villa Park, having 22 shots at goal to City’s two.

Villa v Man City stats

Following that win, Villa are looking to secure their first league double over Manchester City since the 1962-63 campaign.

Recent Form

City haven’t lost in any competition since their defeat at Villa Park in early December, winning 19 of those 23 games (D4).

They did, though, drop two points in the title race during a tactically fascinating, albeit achingly dull, 0-0 draw at home to Arsenal on Sunday, having also drawn at Liverpool in the league game prior to that.

Aston Villa have won four of their last six in the league (D1 L1), including on Saturday when they defeated Wolves 2-0 at home thanks to goals from Diaby and Ezri Konsa.

Villa are unbeaten in their last five Premier League away games (W3 D2), though their last defeat on the road was in Manchester (3-2 vs Manchester United in December). The Villans last had a longer unbeaten run away from home in the competition between November 2008 and February 2009 (7).

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 at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night, here is the Opta Power Ranking for both sides.

Manchester City vs Aston Villa Predicted Lineups

Aston Villa vs Man City Predicted Lineups
Man City vs Aston Villa Predicted Lineups

Manchester City vs Aston Villa Prediction

The Opta supercomputer believes Man City will get the win their title challenge needs. Guardiola’s side have been handed a 63.1% chance of victory on Wednesday.

The supercomputer’s 10,000 simulations see Villa take all three points just 14.3% of the time, which leaves 22.6% ending as a draw.

As for the much-discussed Opta supercomputer’s season projections, Man City’s chances of making it four league titles in a row have reduced to 33.5% from 45.9% after the weekend’s action, making them second favourites behind leaders Liverpool (47.7%).

Aston Villa are likeliest to finish in their current position of fourth (50.9%), while they now have more than a 95% chance of a top-five finish, which could well be enough for UEFA Champions League qualification.

Manchester City vs Aston Villa Prediction

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