Ashley Westwood has praised David Silva's impact on the Barclays Premier League ahead of Saturday's tussle with Man City.
Villa and Manuel Pellegrini's men lock horns in a mouthwatering Emirates FA Cup fourth round clash on Saturday afternoon.
With over three years' experience of playing top-flight football - Villa's deep-lying playmaking midfielder has seen his fair share of top class talent.
Yet, when asked to identify his most difficult opponent to date - there is no hesitation form the Crewe Alexandra academy graduate.
He said: "David Silva is by far the toughest opponent I've faced.
"Ever since I've played in the Premier League I've thought the same.
"He's like a ghost at times, you don't know where he is.
"He's a top player."
Rémi Garde's men head into the B6 clash unbeaten in their previous five outings across all competitions.
Westwood has featured in all and has been a focal of point of Villa's improved performances alongside midfield counterparts Jordan Veretout and Idrissa Gana.
And the 25-year-old is delighted to see their hard work on the Bodymoor training fields rewarded.
He added: "Idrissa and I work well, we're starting to gel.
"Jordan Veretout and Gilly are playing well as well.
"We just want to perform at a high level to help the team.
"The manager has brought a lot out of the French boys and the English lads are buying into it.
"We know it'll take time.
"We want to hit the ground running for the gaffer and that's what we'll try to do."
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