Date: 24th September 2012 at 8:00pm
Written by:

It’s the Capital One League Cup 3rd Round. All change the order of the day as Mancio prepares to field a mainly second string for the visit of Villa

Vital Quotes:

Roberto Mancini:
‘I think we need to improve our defending at set-pieces because this has been a problem for us this season. We can do better and we need to work on this area. We are finding it hard not to concede at the moment and we are probably two points worse off than we should be so far this season. I’m frustrated and the players are frustrated but we will get things right, I’m sure…I will change all the players for Aston Villa if I can.’

Gareth Barry:
‘I still keep an eye on Villa and how they’re getting on. I spent 12 years at the club, played loads of games in claret and blue and it’s still one of the results I look out for. I had a smile on my face when we drew Villa. I was chatting to James Milner about it and we were talking about how when you leave a club these fixtures always seem to come up in cup competitions. That’s football. It brings you back together. I’m looking forward to the game and hopefully I can play against some of these young stars Villa are bringing through.’

Joleon Lescott:
‘The gaffer has made it clear that everyone’s got a part to play this season, and it was the same last year. It worked for us last year and we need to stay focused on the job, and that’s to go into every game to win. It’s always nice to play against Villa having supported them when I was growing up.’

Paul Lambert:
‘Now we pick ourselves up and go again. I never get too high when we win and I never get too despondent when we lose.’

Ron Vlaar:
‘It is going to be a difficult game, but then every game is difficult. We will go and try to win the game. Everybody wants to do better and I hope we can show this in the way we play against Manchester City.’

Manchester City Team News:

Samir Nasri (Hamstring – 1 Week) Micah Richards (Ankle – Back In Training)
James Milner (Toe – To Be Advised)
Maicon (Foot)
John Guidetti (Rehab Following Illness)

(from): Hart, Pantilimon, Wright, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, K Toure, Nastasic, Kolarov, Clichy, Sinclair, Y Toure, Barry, Garcia, Rodwell, Silva, Aguero, Dzeko, Balotelli, Tevez, Razak, Suarez, Scapuzzi, Rekik, Evans, Lopes

Player to watch: Mario Balotelli

This correspondent will be surprised if Balotelli doesn’t get the nod to lead the line against Villa. If so, he’s never more dangerous than when he feels he has a point to prove. Should Mancio start with the big Italian, depending upon which Mario turns up he has the potential to have the game wrapped up by half time such has been the paucity of Villa’s recent defending.

Aston Villa Team News:

Richard Dunne (Groin)
Marc Albrighton (Foot)
Gary Gardener (Ligaments)
Stephen Ireland (Arm)

(from): Given, Guzan, Lowton, Bennett, Lichaj, Clark, Vlaar, Baker, Herd, El Ahmadi, Westwood, Bannan, Delph, Holman, N’Zogbia, Bent, Benteke, Agbonlahor, Bowery, Weimann, Burke, Johnson, Williams.

Player to watch: Darren Bent

Going for another striker who could have a big say in this contest. Only needs a sniff and he’ll do the rest. City’s incoming central defenders will have to be on their toes.

Match Facts & Stats

Villa have won 1 of their last 8 games against The Blues in all competitions. 6 of those 8 were City wins.

The Villans have won this competition 5 times, second only to Liverpool with 8, but they’ve been knocked out in the 3rd Round in 3 of the last 5 campaigns. City have been knocked out at the same stage in 6 of the last 10 seasons.

City have reached the semi-finals of the League Cup in 2 of the last 3 seasons, the rags and Liverpool stopping The Citizens from reaching Wembley.

Head To Head
League: 57 City Wins, 38 Draws, 51 Villa Wins
FA Cup: 6 City, 2 Draws, 2 Villa
League Cup:1 City, 2 Villa
Other Cup: 1 City
Total:65 City Wins, 40 Draws, 55 Wins

Random Last Times Around:
We 01Nov 2000 Aston Villa 0 – 1 Man City LC
Su 19Feb 2006 Aston Villa 1 – 1 Man City FAC
Tu 14Mar 2006 Man City 2 – 1 Aston Villa FAC
We 02Mar 2011 Man City 3 – 0 Aston Villa FAC
Sa 15Oct 2011 Man City 4 – 1 Aston Villa PL
Su 12Feb 2012 Aston Villa 0 – 1 Man City PL

Betting: City 1/3 Draw 4 Villa 15/2

TV Coverage: Limited


CLASSIC CITY: Manchester City v Aston Villa, Dec 5th 1981

The draw for Round 4 of the Capital One Cup will be made live on Sky Sports on Wednesday. It will follow the live Third Round fixture at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Newcastle United, which kicks off at 7.45pm swamp time.

Ref Watch:

Philip Dowd, Staffordshire – Last Season:
Su 07Aug 2011 Man Utd 3 – 2 Man City CS, Su 28Aug 2011 Tottenham 1 – 5 Man City PL, Sa 01Oct 2011 Blackburn 0 – 4 Man City PL, Su 18Dec 2011 Man City 1 – 0 Arsenal PL, We 25Jan 2012 Liverpool 2 – 2 Man City LC, Sa 31Mar 2012 Man City 3 – 3 Sunderland PL
– 2011/12: 38 Games, 137 Yellows, 5 Red
– 2012/13: 4 Games, 12 Yellows, 1 Red
– Liners Tonight: Andrew Garratt and Lee Betts, Fourth Official: Martin Atkinson

Match Prediction:

Johnny On The Spot:
This one could prove to be too close to call. City, committed to an intensive 18 day run of 6 fixtures, by the standards of Champions have endured a frustrating start to the season and the starting XI will be unrecognisable from one that took the field for the draw at home to Arsenal. Villa meanwhile come into this game off the back of a wretched defensive no show at Southampton and must respond to that defeat. I’m banking on City having the edge required as the squad begin to play themselves out of an edgy phase of results.
City 2 Villa 1

Next Fixtures:

all times East Manchester
Sa 29 Sep 15h00 Fulham, Craven Cottage, PL
We 03 Oct 19h45 Borussia Dortmund, The Etihad, PL
Sa 06 Oct 12h45 Sunderland, The Etihad, PL
Sa 20 Oct 15h00 West Brom, The Hawthorns, PL
We 24 Oct 19h45 Ajax, Amsterdam Arena, CL
Sa 27 Oct 17h30 Swansea City, The Etihad, PL


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