Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is hoping his side can remain focused and beat Aston Villa on Monday night, despite Manchester United opening up a 15-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
SportsNewsIRELAND is giving away a €20 free bet in association with Boylesports.com to all its fans, Just open an account before the 10th of March and you will get your free bet. Click here for full details.
Paul Lambert’s Aston Villa side desperately need three points, as they continue their battle for Premier League survival.
Aston Villa come into the game on the back of an important victory over West Ham. That result was a first win in six for Paul Lambert’s men and they know they are up against it tonight. Villa are currently in 18th place and sit inside the relegation places on goal difference. A point on Monday would see them go above Wigan in 17th.
Manchester City beat an inconsistent Chelsea side 2-0 at the Etihad last weekend and know that a win is vital if they are to stand any chance of catching runaway league leaders Manchester United. After United’s 4-0 drubbing of Norwich on Saturday, Roberto Mancini knows that the Premier League title is slipping away. Manchester City’s away form has been suspect at best in their last five games, failing to win at Southampton, QPR and Sunderland. They are under pressure to perform on Monday night.
Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar is doubtful for Monday night’s encounter with the champions and faces a late fitness on a calf injury. Striker Darren Bent is still struggling with a foot injury and is also doubtful but Shay Given is expected to return from a groin injury to face his former club. Marc Albrighton and Richard Dunne remain sidelined.
Former Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry has a niggling ankle injury but is expected to face the Villains. Vincent Kompany is again expected to miss out with a calf injury, while Maicon and Micah Richards are both unavailable with knee injuries.
Player to Watch
Christian Benteke poses a serious attacking threat to the Manchester City defence. The 22-year-old Belgian has had a sensational start to British football, scoring 15 goals thus far. The young striker is eligible for the Young Player of the Year award and if he can continue his blistering form, he will surely be in the reckoning come the end of the season.
Gareth Barry returns to Villa Park to face his old club. Barry was one of Villa’s best players over the last ten years and left the club on a sour note. He is the unsung hero for Manchester City, with his performances often overshadowed by the flair of his continental team-mates. Barry controls the Manchester City midfield and his performance will no doubt have an impact on the outcome of Monday night’s game.
Manchester City’s away form has been poor in recent weeks, but they should have too much for a resilient Aston Villa side. Take the ‘Draw HT-Man City FT’ at 16/5 with Boylesports.com