The Premier League could have another new leader on Tuesday night, as Manchester City host Aston Villa. The likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and Manchester United have all had their turn in top spot over the past or so, but City have embarked on a five-game win streak amid the inconsistency of others to rise into second spot with a game in hand.
Victory here will see Pep Guardiola’s side move a point above United and four clear of champions Liverpool, which would significantly push the claims of the Cityzens to reclaim their status as the league’s best team. Last time out they beat Crystal Palace 4-0 - a fourth clean sheet coming the way of City from their five recent victories.
FOLLOW LIVE: Man City vs Aston Villa – Latest updates
Aston Villa have dropped to 11th, but that’s on account of not having played recently. Their last league game came on New Year’s Day in a controversial defeat to Manchester United, with a coronavirus outbreak since then forcing postponements for their games against Spurs and, more recently, Everton.
This particular fixture is a rescheduled clash from the start of the season, which Man City missed as a result of their European exertions at the end of 2019/20.
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of the game.
When is the match?
The game kicks off at 6pm on Wednesday, 20 January 2021.
Where can I watch it?
The game will be shown live on BT Sport 1 and BT Sport Extra 1. Subscribers can also stream the match via the BT Sport app and desktop website.
What is the team news?
Sergio Aguero is still a doubt for City after a long spell of hit-and-miss fitness. Defensive trio Nathan Ake, Aymeric Laporte and Eric Garcia could all be missing but wouldn’t be likely to return to the line-up in any case due to the form of John Stones and Ruben Dias in recent weeks.
As for Aston Villa, they are likely to be with most of their first-team squad after a period away from the training ground and without matches - though it remains to be seen if Ross Barkley is able to start after two months out. Wesley and Trezeguet are the ongoing injury issues.
MCI - Ederson, Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Walker, De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan, Sterling, Foden, B. Silva
AST - Martinez, Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett, Luiz, McGinn, Traore, Barkley, Grealish, Watkins
Man City - 2/7
Draw - 6/1
Aston Villa - 23/2
Villa’s lack of recent game time will ultimately go against them, whether that’s 90-minute fitness for some players or just the speed and rhythm of play. Against other clubs it might not be such an issue; against an in-form Man City it’ll be near-impossible to keep them out. City 2-0 Villa.