Manchester City v Aston Villa: Match Preview

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Man City:
Hart, Richards, Lescott, Kompany, Clichy, De Jong, Barry, Milner, Johnson, Toure Yaya, Balotelli. Subs: Pantilimon, Dzeko, Kolarov, Nasri, Hargreaves, Silva, Toure.

Aston Villa: Given, Hutton, Dunne, Clark, Warnock, Delph, Petrov, Ireland, Heskey, Agbonlahor, Bent. Subs: Guzan, N'Zogbia, Albrighton, Cuellar, Bannan, Weimann, Herd.

Manchester City vs Aston Villa
Etihad Stadium
Barclays Premier League
Saturday, 14th October: 15:00

Team News

Manchester City will be without top scorer Sergio Aguero after having not fully recovered fully from a hamstring injury picked up against Blackburn Rovers.

Mario Balotelli is expected to deputise, while Owen Hargreaves could make his league debut for the club.

Gabriel Agbonlahor will resume his duties up front after recovering from a back injury, with midfield duo Stephen Ireland and Barry Bannan also available.

Mancini lauds Silva

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has labelled midfielder David Silva as one of the best players in the world following his masterclass performance against Scotland in mid-week.

Silva scored twice and made the third for David Villa to round off Spain's faultless Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

And Mancini says he feels that in Silva, City posses one of the world's best.

"I think he is one of the best players in the world," Mancini said. "He did very well against Scotland and scored two goals. He has improved in the last year."

City host Aston Villa upon the resumption of the Barclays Premier League, and the Italian boss is wary of the threat posed by Alex McLeish's men.


"It is very important that we start back in the Premier League with a victory," he added.

"But it will be hard because Aston Villa are a very good team. They haven’t lost a game yet. We will need to play very well.

"This year will be like this, with so many matches. We will take it game after game. So now Aston Villa is the most important game for us. We will rest the players who are most tired.

"Alex McLeish is a good manager. He has the experience in the Premier League and a good team with good players. They have started the season very well. It will be a tough game for us."

Villa's chances at the Etihad Stadium have been improved by the news that Gabriel Agbonlahor will be available after a back injury.

Like City, Villa are unbeaten min the league this season, having suffered just one defeat all season in the Carling Cup against Bolton Wanderers.

However, with six wins from seven games it's been City that have set the pace in the Premier League, form manager McLeish labels as frightening.

"City have had some quite frightening results since the start of the season," he said. "That can be intimidating for anyone looking on but we have started brightly and steadied the ship."

On Agbonlahor, McLeish said: "We expect him, barring a nightmare in training, to be okay for the game at City."

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Manchester City
Premier League
Aston Villa

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