Aston Villa vs Manchester CityEnglish Premier League, KO: 20:15 Dec 6, 2023, Villa Park
MANCHESTER CITY remain odds-on favourites to retain their Premier League crown but they head into this tricky clash with in-form Aston Villa looking to avoid a fourth game without a win in their title defence.
Everyone expected fireworks when Tottenham went to the Etihad on Sunday and the game didn't disappoint with Ange Postecoglou's side claiming a 3-3 draw thanks to Dejan Kulusesvski's brilliant header.
Plenty of bets came up for me in that game and I'm sure countless other punters cashed in by backing a goalfest, with Pep Guardiola's defence again looking pretty creaky.
You have to go back to late October for Manchester City's last domestic clean sheet and their only Premier League victory since that 3-0 derby win came against minnows Bouremouth.
Three successive draws with Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham have left the champions three points adrift of leaders Arsenal and a win for Aston Villa in this game would see them leap above City into third place.
Unai Emery is continuing to work wonders in the Midland and it's incredible to see Villa just four points off the summit having been embroiled in a relegation scrap when the Spaniard took over last year.
But it's still just one defeat in 12 games in all competitions for Emery's men and they will fancy their chances of upsetting a Manchester City in poor form with a packed Villa Park crowd cheering them on.
How the bookies view it
Recent head to head
Manchester City have gone 15 games unbeaten in this fixture since losing 3-2 at Villa Park a decade ago. But the Villa fans can take a little bit of heart from the fact they managed a 1-1 draw when Guardiola's side came to Midlands last season.
Players to watch
It's hard to look past Watkins for an Aston Villa goal as he has scored in last four club appearances. The in-form striker looks a bit overpriced at 2/1 with Bet365.
Phil Foden seems to have cemented his place in the Manchester City side this season after being in and out of the starting XI last term. The winger has scored in his last two games and is 11/4 with Bet365 for another goal here. He's also a tempting 3/1 at McBookie for an assist.
Anything else catch the eye?
Both teams have been involved in plenty of thrillers this season so it bodes well for an exciting game. That's why BTTS is just 4/7 at VBet while over 2.5 goals is even shorter at 1/2 with most firms. But over 1.5 first-half goals is better value and that pays 13/10 at Coral.
Emery's defence usually give you plenty of chances so the 13/10 on offer at BoyleSports for Manchester City to score in both halves could be worth a punt as well.
The atmosphere will be electric inside Villa Park and that could lead to a few tasty challenges. Villa's Douglas Luiz is 2/1 with Paddy Power for a seventh card of the season while Mateo Kovavic, who could deputise for suspended City star Rodri, is 16/5 at the same firm to go in the book.
Erling Haaland will be looking to take his frustration out on Aston Villa after that incredible rant at the ref on Sunday. Unibet have the Manchester City star at evens for over 1.5 shots on target and that looks good.
This English Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester City will be played on Dec 6, 2023 and kick off at 20:15. Check below for our tipsters best Aston Villa vs Manchester City prediction. You may also visit our dedicated betting previews section for the most up to date previews.