The Premier League returns this weekend as Manchester City continue to try and close the gap at the top when they face Aston Villa.
Manchester City (1/12)
While Manchester City are still an unbelievably impressive football team to watch on a week to week basis, they still haven’t had it all their way this season. Their last six games have hit both ends of the spectrum across three different competitions. They were able to ease to victory over Preston North End in the Carabao Cup, whereas in the Champions League, they beat Atalanta and Dinamo Zagreb with relative ease. In the Premier League they overcame tough challenges against Crystal Palace and Everton, but they were stunned by Wolverhampton Wanderers who beat them 2-0.
Going for the over/under on City really does depend what kind of mood they’re in and what sort of team they’re facing. They don’t ship a lot of goals, but equally, they can struggle to batter teams if they don’t get into a rhythm within the first 15 minutes.
Aston Villa (25/1)
Aston Villa have had a decent enough start to life back in the Premier League, with the obvious end goal being for them to become one of English football’s top clubs once again. They certainly gave off that impression in the Carabao Cup when they easily dispatched of Brighton, and in the Premier League they’ve done pretty well, too. They did lose to Arsenal in a game that they probably should’ve won, but aside from that, there hasn’t been a loss in sight as of late. They played out a dull 0-0 draw with West Ham United before a controversial draw with Burnley and two more impressive wins against Brighton and Norwich.
Goals are to be expected in a Villa game if the tempo is right in the middle of the park, mainly because they really don’t seem to mind coming straight at you and opening things up from the word go.
Villa have a tendency to stay in the fight far longer than they have any right to, and the aura surrounding City’s dominance at the Etihad has kind of disappeared now after they were humbled by Wolves. As a result, we don’t think this is going to be an utter demolition by any stretch of the imagination, and we actually think it’ll be a pretty close affair. In the end City will get the the three points and continue to put the pressure on Liverpool, but at least Villa will get a showcase out of it.
The over/under argument is a close one too, but we’re backing Villa to get on the scoresheet – so with that in mind, we’ll go ahead and say there will be over 2.5 goals.
Verdict: Back the home win at odds of 1/12 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 2/9. (All odds are taken from bet365).