Manchester City’s victory over Crystal Palace last weekend saw the gap between themselves and Liverpool close to just six points after the Premier League leaders struggled to a draw at Manchester United.
The reigning champions followed that progress up with a 5-1 thrashing of Atalanta in the Champions League and now face newly promoted Aston Villa as the Premier League enters match day 10.
Aston Villa won’t be pushovers on Saturday though. The Villains struggled at the start of the season as their contingent of new signings gelled into the squad, but a 2-1 win over Brighton last weekend gave them their first back-to-back Premier League wins this season, pushing them up to 12th in the table and three clear of the drop zone.
Aston Villa will travel to the Etihad on Saturday with a close eye on Pep Guardiola’s defence which isn’t quite up to scratch, conceding an average of one goal per game in the Premier League and failing to keep a clean sheet on five occasions.
However, the Citizens are a different beast at home and it still should remain a steep challenge to get the better of a side that have won 11 of their last 13 home games in the league.
Rodri suffered a hamstring injury in the midweek win over Atalanta and is ruled out, though John Stones is back fit and should get the nod over Nicolas Otamendi alongside Fernandinho.
Oleksandr Zinchenko has undergone knee surgery and is out for six weeks and will join the Spaniard on the sidelines, along with long-term absentees Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte.
David and Bernardo Silva played no part in the Champions League clash on Tuesday so will likely start this one, with Phil Foden one of those to drop to the bench.
Jota, who has had surgery on a hernia, is the only player in the treatment room for Villa, with both James Chester and Jonathan Kodjia starting a PL2 match on Monday as they rebuild their match fitness.
Trezeguet made a positive impact from the bench against Brighton last weekend and could replace Anwar El Ghazi, while Wesley was ineffective in the victory and Kienan Davis is waiting in the wings.
Douglas Luiz left Manchester City to join Aston Villa over the summer but will more than likely have to settle for a place on the bench against his former club.
Man City have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 9 home matches against Aston Villa in all competitions.
Man City have scored at least 3 goals in 8 of their last 9 home matches against Aston Villa in all competitions.
Man City have won 10 of their last 11 home matches against Aston Villa in all competitions.
Man City are undefeated in 21 of their last 23 matches (Premier League).
Man City have averaged 2.76 goals per game in their last 13 home outings, so we’re definitely expecting them to put a few past Aston Villa.
Tip: (Man City Over 2.5 Team Goals)