Aston Villa vs Manchester CityEnglish Premier League, KO: 20:15 Dec 1, 2021, Villa Park
STEVEN GERRARD has made a terrific start to life as an English Premier League manager after two wins out of two with Aston Villa, but he faces the ultimate test on Wednesday when champions Manchester City come calling.
The former Rangers boss had led his team to two victories against Brighton and Crystal Palace. However, this will be an altogether tougher test to see if the Villa revival is real.
City had to work really hard to see off high-flying West Ham at the weekend and they reduced the gap on leaders Chelsea to an ominous one point after that.
That made it five wins in a row for Pep Guardiola's side, who are really starting to motor ahead of the busy Festive period where only those with confirmed quality throughout their squad survive.
City relish a match against Villa too, having won their last six meetings in a row between the clubs. It would have been an emotional return for £100 million man Jack Grealish to Villa, but he's expected to miss out again through injury although Kevin de Bruyne could return.
But the loss of those key players hasn't appeared to impact City too much and they will be expected to end Gerrard's honeymoon period.
How the bookies view this
Recent head to heads
As mentioned, City have a terrific recent record against Villa. Here's the last meeting between the sides in Birmingham below where City recovered to win 2-1. Villa's last win against City in all competitions was in 2013.
Players to watch
Scotland star John McGinn scored after 20 seconds in this fixture last season and also netted a great goal against Crystal Palace at the weekend.
He's 17/2 to score anytime.
After looking his days at City were numbered, Raheem Sterling has suddenly returned as a key man for the club with three goals in his last five games for club and country. He's 28/17 to score at Villa Park with 10Bet.
Anything else catch the eye?
City have so much quality that the loss of their vital players like de Bruyne hasn't made a huge difference. They are also particularly impressive on the road and like a fast start having led at half time and full time in five of their last six league games and that could be the call at evens with SportNation.
No club has been awarded more corners in the league than City with 107 in 13 games, but Villa provides plenty too – they are sixth. That means there should be plenty at Villa Park so try the 11/1- with bet365 for over 10.5.
This English Premier League match between Aston Villa and Manchester City will be played on Dec 1, 2021 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.