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Prediction Premier League - Manchester City vs Aston Villa

Prediction Premier League - Manchester City vs Aston Villa
Premier League - Manchester City vs Aston Villa
Match Time: 04-04-2024 03:15 Thursday (GMT+8)
Football Livescore | Match Prediction & Tips

Manchester City

Not since a dull Champions League affair with Sporting Lisbon in the 2021-22 season had Man City drawn a blank in front of goal at home, and the Citizens faithful had to go even further back to October 2021 for the last time that their side were shut out at the Etihad in a Premier League fixture.

However, thanks to the first-rate work of a William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes-inspired Arsenal, the treble winners endured 90 minutes of frustration on Easter Sunday, failing to score for the first time in 57 home matches across all tournaments in a nail-biting stalemate with Mikel Arteta's troops.

As was the case in October's equally cagey affair at the Emirates, only three shots on target were fired in the entirety of the tense tactical battle - only one of which came Man City's way - and as a result, Pep Guardiola's troops still reside in the bronze medal position in the Premier League standings.

One point separates the holders from second-placed Arsenal, who also return to action on Wednesday night - squaring up to Luton Town - but Liverpool have now strode three clear of the Citizens, who need a five-goal swing in their favour on Wednesday to usurp the Reds for at least 24 hours.

Despite losing their red-hot streak in front of the Etihad nets, Sunday's stalemate with the Gunners was Man City's 23rd game without a loss across all competitions since December, although there are no prizes on offer for guessing who Guardiola's men were last condemned to defeat against.

Aston Villa

Fresh from his first call-up to the France squad in 12 months, the rejuvenated Moussa Diaby was the catalyst behind Aston Villa's two-goal beating of West Midlands rivals Wolves on Saturday, opening the scoring in the first half of the Villa Park battle with a thumping left-footed strike.

The former Bayer Leverkusen winger then turned provider for Ezri Konsa, whose mishit cross ended up deceiving Jose Sa and bouncing over the line at the back post to rubber-stamp a routine two-goal success for Emery's men, who therefore remain in control of their top-four fate.

Taking just one point from two games with West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur opened the door for the latter to upset the Champions League apple cart, but the Lions still boast a three-point advantage over the Lilywhites, who do have a game in hand but possess a slightly inferior goal difference.

Of course, fifth may still suffice for Europe's top table depending on the coefficient rankings, but amid UEFA uncertainties, Villa's sole focus is extending their stellar unbeaten away run in 2024; Emery's men have avoided defeat in each of their first eight road games of the calendar year since Boxing Day's agonising defeat to Manchester United.

Five of those eight fixtures have also seen Aston Villa keep a clean sheet, a feat they also managed in December's memorable 1-0 home beating of Man City, but repeating that trick will be an extremely tall order; the Lions have suffered 13 straight Premier League losses away to the reigning champions.

Prediction: Manchester City 2-0 Aston Villa
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