Things looked good for Man City after Everton’s 1-0 victory over Arsenal last Saturday lunchtime, and their 1-1 draw to Brentford yesterday. However, things have since developed negatively. They lost to Spurs 0-1 and have now been embroiled under a dark cloud off the field. The club have been charged with numerous offences relating to financial fair play which could result in several different punishments. They now face an Aston Villa side who have generally been going well under new manager Unai Emery.
I’ve compiled all the stats for xG, goals, corners, shots, fouls, passes and cards from their Premier League season’s to date. Use the numbers alongside my Stats Pack Guide to boost your chances of picking that winning bet builder.
Predicting the Man City XI is one of the hardest things to do in World Football. You must get into the mind of Pep Guardiola, who will surely be furious after losing to Spurs last week. With the Citizens also looking ahead to the big Arsenal fixture in midweek there could be several surprises in the team.
One thing we do know is that defender John Stones is ruled out until March with a hamstring problem. Kevin De Bruyne should come back into the side at the expense of Alvarez.
Villa are mostly unchanged. Ashley Young was a doubt heading into the fixture, but manager Unai Emery passed him fit in the pre-match press conference.
The trio of Bertrand Traore, Jed Steer and Diego Carlos are all still injured. Lucas Digne returned to the left back spot vs Leicester last week, while Calum Chambers makes a surprise appearance over Tyrone Mings
Man City average an astronomical 2.52 goals per game and just 1.00 goals against. This correlates closely to their xG and xGA metrics and this is a legitimately strong team at both ends of the field. City fire in 16.50 shots per game with 5.52 SOT for. Their opponents have only averaged 7.52 shots in each fixture with the SOT against rate as low as 2.38.
Pep Guardiola’s men average 6.52 corners per game and just 2.48 against. They have been extremely well disciplined, picking up just 1.10 cards in each match. They’ve drawn their opponents into 2.48 cards in each fixture. City are a machine of a team in so many different statistical areas.
Aston Villa average 1.19 goals for and 1.48 goals against per match. Over the course of the season, they have underachieved compared to their xG of 1.45. Their shots and SOT are very balanced at both ends of the field. They and their opponents average roughly around 11-12 shots per game with four of those on target.
Villa only average 4.24 corners per game. They have generally been playing narrow football all season, especially under previous manager Stephen Gerrard. At the other end of the field, they concede an average of 5.19 corners. Cards have been on the high side with 2.24 being obtained by the Villains, whilst their opponents have racked up 1.86.
Player shots and shots on target
Erling Haaland averages 3.85 shots per 90 mins with an impressive 1.98 SOT. He was kept quiet by Spurs last week so will be eager to respond here. City are a team who shoot regularly and loads of other candidates average over 2 shots per 90 mins. A lot depends on the starting lineup but both Mahrez and De Bruyne are always interesting candidates because they are on set piece duty. Ilkay Gundogan is also someone who likes to fire in the shots at 2.23 per 90 mins. There’s only a 0.58 SOT rate for the German though and his accuracy has been fairly poor.
Ollie Watkins has been in decent form recently and he could be one to consider in the shots market. Villa are unlikely to get that many chances so he might be inclined to try his luck from less favourable positions. Watkins averages 2.38 shots per game with 1.10 on target. The trio of Leon Bailey, Philippe Coutinho and Emiliano Buendia also all average over 2 shots per 90 mins. Bailey is the most accurate with 0.82 on target and could get some chances on the break.
Player goals and assists
Erling Haaland has been on fire this season and has 25 goals. He usually makes mincemeat of the lesser teams who can’t defend. Phil Foden has seven goals and four assists, but his minutes can be sporadic. Kevin De Bruyne leads the Citizens for assists with 11 but hasn’t quite seemed the same player since the World Cup. He is overdue for a big performance soon. Riyad Mahrez has been in decent form and is a candidate for goals and assists should he start.
Ollie Watkins has five goals and four assists. Leon Bailey is next in the goalscoring charts for Villa netting four times. Buendia has three goals, whilst the joint leading assister is Douglas Luiz. He is a deep lying playmaker threat from midfield and also weighed in with two goals.
Man City average the most possession of any team in the Premier League, amassing a massive 66% of the ball. They have several players who all average close to, or above 80 passes per 90 mins. The two who warrant closest consideration are probably Rodri and Nathan Ake. The former is one of the few players likely to last the full 90 mins for City and averages a massive 95 passes! Ake averages 85.9 and if he starts is quite likely to be on the field for a significant period.
Villa average 49% possession and their numbers in this category can vary from week to week. Under Unai Emery they are more of a counter-attacking side, and it probably wouldn’t be wise to consider any of their players here. Both Kamara and Douglas Luiz average around 50 passes per 90 mins but that figure will drop in this fixture. They should both still eclipse the 30 passes mark but there is little value in that market.
Man City cards
City are a clean team and pick up few cards. Defensive midfielder Rodri will do most of their dirty work. He has three cards and fouls on average 1.61 times per 90 mins. Some of the attackers will press from the front so the likes of Haaland, Mahrez and Grealish will probably produce one foul at some stage.
Midfielder John McGinn draws the most fouls on this list (1.91). He is a prickly character who can wind up the opposition but might only be used from the bench here. Emiliano Buendia and Lucas Digne are candidates to be fouled. Buendia is a skilful player and averages nearly 2 dribbles per 90 mins.
Matchups to watch
Rodri vs Emiliano Buendia
Riyad Mahrez vs Lucas Digne
Erling Braut Haaland vs Tyrone Mings
Aston Villa cards
There are a quartet of Villa player who all have four cards. Both John McGinn and Jacob Ramsey are likely to start from the bench so immediately Leon Bailey and Tyrone Mings stick out as potential card getters. Bailey averages 1.37 fouls per 90 mins and another payer to consider in the middle of the park is Boubacar Kamara who has an even higher foul rate at 1.58. Both fullbacks Lucas Digne and Ashley Young will also be worked hard against the City wingers.
Jack Grealish is a foul magnet and is extremely difficult to tackle cleanly. He averages nearly five dribbles per 90 mins and is fouled 3.45 times. Veteran Ashley Young will come under some serious pressure on that side. Riyad Mahrez is another who will cause problems with his trickery and dribbling. More centrally, both De Bruyne and potentially Foden are likely to draw fouls. Rico Lewis at right back could also tempt some of the attacking players such as Buendia into a few nibbles.
Matchups to watch
Ashley Young vs Jack Grealish
Boubacar Kamara vs Kevin De Bruyne
Emiliano Buendia vs Rico Lewis
My bet builder picks of the pack
Man City games can often be tough to find value with the bookie’s heavily favouring the Sky Blues. There were a few picks that I liked the look of from the stats above, that you can add to your bet in one click below.
Manchester City vs Aston Villa
Man City games average 3.52 goals per game.
Their total xG is 3.29.
Aston Villa games average 2.67 goals per game.
Their total xG, is 2.96.
Erling Haaland has 25 goals in just 20 Premier League appearances.
Ashley Young averages 1.06 fouls p/90.
But more importantly, he’s up against Jack Grealish.
Grealish is foued a crazy 3.45 times p/90, and attempts 4.57 dribbles p/90.
Aston Villa average 2.24 cards per game in their direction.
Man City opponents this season have received an average of 2.48 cards.
Referee Robert Jones average 3.76 cards per game.