Todays game pits two undefeated teams against each other in Manchester City and Aston Villa.
Alex McLeash has vastly improved on the tail end of last season, grinding out draws and keeping his side in the hunt for a Europa League spot.
Meanwhile, Roberto Mancini has managed to guide City to the summit of the table, second only on goal difference.
The Citizens will have one eye on the game against Villarreal in the Champions League next week meaning we will either see fresh legs or complacency.
Manchester City Team News:
Sergio Aguero is City’s main absentee as he continues to recover from a groin injury.
Fellow Argentinian Carlos Tevez has excluded from the squad in the wake of his refusal to play against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.
Player to watch: Mario Balotelli
The Italian livewire was unplayable the other week and is definately City’s in-form danger man at the moment.
While he can blow both hot and cold, if he gets the ball, he can find the net.
Aston Villa Team News:
Shay Given and Richard Dunne will be the main defensive blockade in todays game. The Irish internationals will certainly be looking to prove a few people wrong.
Nathan Delfouneso misses out due to injury.
Player to watch: Darren Bent
Darren Bent always delivers, so the England international stated last week when he clamed Villa supremo Randy Lerner nicknamed him ‘the mailman’.
Indeed, the Villa frontman has gone from strength to strength at whatever club he’s been at. Kompany and Lescott will need to be at their very best.
Match Facts & Stats
Villa have gone unbeaten in their last 15 games, while City have taken 28 out of 30 points from their last 10 games.
Anthony Taylor officiates todays preceedings.
This game is close to call on paper, but judging by the hammerings City dealt Villa last season, I can only conclude that Mancini’s men will reign triumphant once again. Although I can see Villa scoring if they get the opportunity, it’s hard to see them winning the midfield battle to get any decent possession. Manchester City 2-0 Villa.
UEFA Champions League – at home on 18th Oct 2011 @ 19:45 against Villarreal.