Following a 2-0 away win to Crystal Palace, Manchester City (W3, L2) climbed two points closer to Liverpool at the top of the Premier League (PL) table in the last round. Ahead of kick-off, City has recorded 12 wins in their last 14 home matches, scoring two or more goals on ten occasions.
They showed no mercy against newly-promoted sides the last term, winning five of six PL matches in that category with a clean sheet, and 3.0 goals scored on average. Their current form apparently makes it a question of ‘how many’, as Man City have scored 3.5 goals on average across six competitive home matches this season.
With two straight wins, which have featured both teams scoring and 4.5 total goals on average, the ‘Villans’ have offered plenty of entertainment, with their away matches averaging 4.0 goals so far. Thus far, six of Villa’s nine PL matches this season have seen both teams score, though Villa has conceded the last goal in all four PL away matches so far.
A clear pattern in scoring implies that Villa may struggle after the break, but still fashion chances. The Birmingham side has scored seven and conceded three across their first halves (GD +4) while scoring eight and conceding a whopping ten after the break (GD -2).
Players to watch: Sergio Agüero has scored five goals across City’s last four home PL H2Hs vs Villa.
Meanwhile, Villa talisman Jack Grealish has found his stride with goals in two straight PL matches – both arriving ‘mid-match’ in the 40th-50th-minute interval.
Stat attack: The hosts’ last eight competitive games have now been decided by a margin of at least two goals (W7, L1).
Of those fixtures, six witnessed just one side hit the back of the net.
Aston Villa has scored first in each of their two PL trips made this term to opposition from last season’s top-six.
Both matches saw Villa lead 1-0 at half-time, but end up beaten through two goals beyond the 80th minute.
Will not play
Referee: Scott G. (Eng),
Venue: Etihad Stadium (Manchester)
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