Date: 16th November 2012 at 1:57pm
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Ahead of a massive week for Manchester City, Aston Villa come to town for their second visit this season. Can they breach Fortress Etihad again…?

Vital Quotes:

Roberto Mancini:
‘For two weeks we talk about Monaco, after that, Guardiola, another manager, now Suarez, now Mario. We have a good team and we don’t need to buy another player in January. We can’t buy Suarez or another player because we have four strikers and Suarez plays for Liverpool. Nothing about Suarez is true.

‘We haven’t played as well as last season yet. We’ve had a lot of important players injured so far this season. It is important to beat Aston Villa. It will be a tough game, then we can think about Real Madrid.’

James Milner:
‘I’ve been progressing well and I`m back training so I’m hoping to be available for Villa. The fans here have been brilliant since day one. I can’t deny it’s really nice and gives you a massive lift when you hear the best part of 47,000 people singing your name…I just want to go out and play as well as I can for City and our supporters and hopefully keep the trophies coming. Our fans turn out in big numbers whether it’s at home where the games are always sold out – or away and overseas where they always travel in their thousands, so we want to do the best we can for them and repay that backing.’

Paul Lambert:
‘I think the fans will give the players time. We don’t have long ball players in the side; just footballers and the crowd see that and stick with it, the future’s really good.’

Andreas Weimann:
‘We don’t have fear and we shouldn’t have. The last few weeks, we’ve got confidence because we’ve won a couple of games. You’ve seen the way we played against Manchester United. At the moment we think we can take on anyone and at Manchester City we’ll be the same.’

Stephen Ireland:
‘If I had stayed there, I wouldn’t have been involved anyway. They have so much quality there was no way I was getting in that team. I live in the same area as Mancini. I bump into him occasionally and we have a chat. It’s completely fine. I understand it was a football decision. It was the right time for me to leave…he has won them the league and they are still unbeaten in the Premier League so it’s not like he has done really bad. I think Mancini has done a great job, and I can’t see that changing.’

Manchester City Team News:

Micah Richards
John Guidetti

Gael Clichy

Player to watch: Javi Garcia

The man the Stretford Bin Man coveted last year as ‘the new Roy Keane’ has been under intensive fitness training in recent weeks and this week offers up the opportunity for him to prove he can hack it at this level following some anonymous performances. With one eye on Real Madrid and Chelsea, Mancio is likely to call on Garcia to shoulder some workload.

Aston Villa Team News:

Charles N’Zogbia
Richard Dunne
Chris Herd
Nathan Baker

Darren Bent

Player to watch: Stephen Ireland

Who else? Left City in the most bitter, acrimonious fashion we’ve seen in Manchester for many years only to tumble into embarrassment at Villa off the back of some appalling performances and demotions. Is enjoying something of a resurgence right now and is sure to be up for this one. Sadly, the way he publicly conducted himself when he left us is sure to ensure he gets the full treatment on Saturday.

Match Facts & Stats

The Blues have not lost at home for 35 league games, drawing only 3 times.

City’s defence is the best in the top flight, conceding only 9 goals in 10 games. You’re surprised?

2 weeks ago The Villans recorded their first league away win in 14 attempts.

Villa have picked up only 2 points from 7 matches against top-half sides in this campaign.

If he is selected, Mario Balotelli will make his 50th league appearance for MCFC.

13 of the 17 goals Villa have conceded this season have come in the second half.

Head To Head
League: 57 City Wins, 38 Draws, 51 Villa Wins
League Cup: 1 City Win, 3 Villa Wins
FA Cup: 6 City Wins, 2 Draws, 2 Villa Wins
Total: 65 City Wins, 40 Draws, 56 Villa Wins

This Could Be The Last Time:
Tu 25Sep 2012 Man City 2 – 4 Aston Villa CC
Su 12Feb 2012 Aston Villa 0 – 1 Man City PL
Sa 15Oct 2011 Man City 4 – 1 Aston Villa PL

Betting: City 1/5 Draw 11/2 Villa 14 Racing Post Soccerbase

TV Coverage: BBC Match Of The Day


CLASSIC CITY: Manchester City v Aston Villa

Ref Watch:

Jonathan Moss from West Yorkshire Last Season:
-Has Never Officiated A Manchester City Fixture. We 21Dec 2011 Aston Villa 1 – 2 Arsenal, Sa 10Mar 2012 Aston Villa 1 – 0 Fulham. This Season: Sa 22Sep 2012 Southampton 4 – 1 Aston Villa.
– 2011/12: 32 Games, 112 Yellows, 11 Reds -2012/2013: 10 Games, 30 Yellows, 1 Red.

Match Prediction:

Johnny On The Spot:
In September Villa thumped City at The Etihad in the League Cup. Despite an upbeat mood around Villa Park, they won’t this Saturday in The Premier League. There’s a score to settle for starters. Mancio is said to be still narked by his touchline clash that night with his opposite number Paul Lambert. The Villans come into this one no doubt chastened by their capitulation at the hands of the Stretfords last weekend which sees them hovering above the relegation zone. City have plenty at stake ahead of massive clashes against Real Madrid and Chelsea and I expect Mancio to send his side out with the instruction to secure a win as quickly as possible in order to maintain the pressure on Robin van Persie. Expect big guns Aguero and Tevez to be rested and Dzeko and Balotelli to lead the line in their place amongst other cautious team selections. Both have points to prove to the dapper City gaffer. The Blues should surely win this with plenty of gas still left in the tank. With the rags playing later in the day, City have the incentive of going top of the league with the right result. City 4 Villa 0 < a href= '> CLICK HERE TO FOLLOW THE GAME LIVE IN THE VMC FORUM

Next Fixtures:

all times East Manchester
We 21 Nov 19h45 Real Madrid, The Etihad, CL
Su 25 Nov 16h00 Chelsea, Stamford Bridge, PL
We 28 Nov 20h00 Wigan, DW Stadium, PL
Sa 01Dec 15h00 Everton, The Etihad, PL
Tu 04Dec 19h45 B Dortmund, Signal Iduna Park, CL
Su 09Dec 13h30 The rags, The Etihad, PL
Sa 15Dec 12h45 Newcastle, St James’ Park, PL
Sa 22Dec 15h00 Reading, The Etihad, PL
We 26Dec 15h00 Sunderland, Stadium of Light, PL
Sa 29Dec 15h00 Norwich, Carrow Road, PL


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