Game: Aston Villa vs Manchester City
Date: Sunday 12th January
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Villa Park
At a Glance
Villa Park hosts its first match of 2020 when champions Manchester City come to town in the Premier League on Sunday.
Aston Villa are aiming to win back-to-back league games for just the second time this season following a battling 2-1 win at Burnley on New Year’s Day.
Since that game, Dean Smith’s men bowed out of the FA Cup with a Third Round loss to Fulham before earning a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their Carabao Cup Semi-Final against Leicester City.
Opponents Manchester City have racked up three straight wins to start the year, seeing off Everton (2-1), Port Vale (4-1) and Manchester United (3-1) in the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup respectively.
The reigning champs have won four of their last five Premier League matches and sit third in the table heading into Sunday.
Raheem Sterling has been their talisman in the league this season, top scoring with 11 goals.
Aston Villa and Manchester City have met 170 times, dating back to a Division One clash in 1899 that ended 2-1 to Villa.
The Citizens have emerged victorious on 72 occasions, Villa have taken the honours 57 times and there have been 41 draws.
The Villans have failed to score in eight of the last ten meetings between the teams, winning only once in that time.
Dean Smith has stated previously that he expects Matt Targett to be available for selection on Sunday.
The defender had been missing with a hamstring injury since he limped off in the defeat to Watford on 28th December.
However, the Villa boss said at his Friday press conference that Keinan Davis is a couple of weeks away from a return while fellow forward Jonathan Kodija didn’t train due to illness.
Wesley, Tom Heaton, John McGinn and Jed Steer are all long-term absentees.
“We played the second-placed team in the cup and now we’re playing the team that are third and have won back-to-back titles.
“They have a world-class coach and world-class players, they can afford to spend £50 million on a right back, so we know the test.
“They have had some off days this season – they got beat at Norwich and Wolves – so we must have belief in ourselves, as well as concentration.”
Ways to Follow
You can follow the game on VillaTV.
As of Friday afternoon, only a very limited number of tickets remained on sale here. Thanks for your fantastic support!