Manchester City will look to add to the pressure on Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard on Saturday when the two sides face off at Villa Park.
After a minor slip-up against Newcastle, City have fired ten goals across their last two games, with Erling Haaland claiming six of those himself.
The Norwegian striker has outscored Villa in the Premier League this year. Gerrard’s men have just four strikes to their name and are down in 19th in the table, prompting the boss to admit he is worried about his future at the club.
Here’s all you need to know about this one.
Aston Villa: 1 Win
Man City: 3 Wins
Aston Villa: WLWLL
Man City: WWDWW
The only absentee for Villa remains centre-back Diego Carlos, so Gerrard still has the same squad available to him as last time out as well as the additions of new signings Leander Dendoncker and Jan Bednarek.
All eyes will be on midfielder Douglas Luiz, who started the latest defeat to Arsenal on the bench but came on to score directly from a corner. Normally, that’d earn a start in the next game, but it remains to be seen how the 24-year-old has reacted to Arsenal’s three failed bids to sign him on Deadline Day.
One player who will no longer be featuring in the matchday squad is midfielder Tim Iroegbunam, who sealed a Deadline Day loan to QPR.
Aston Villa Starting 11: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne; Luiz, Kamara, Ramsey; Bailey, Watkins, Buendia.
Bench: Olsen, Chambers, Young, Bednarek, McGinn, Coutinho, Dendoncker, Archer, Ings.
Kalvin Phillips, Jack Grealish and Nathan Ake have all been out through injuries but are closing in on returns and could all feature in Saturday’s matchday squad in some capacity, unlike long-term absentee Aymeric Laporte.
Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez should return from the bench and there may be a debut appearance for new defender Manuel Akanji, who has joined from Borussia Dortmund.
One issue for Pep Guardiola to consider is Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Sevilla, so expect some rotation and plenty of substitutions if City can get ahead early on.
Man City Starting 11: Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Gomez; De Bruyne, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Haaland, Alvarez.
Bench: Ortega, Walker, Akanji, Wilson-Esbrand, Phillips, Silva, Foden, Grealish, Knight.
Villa are in a rough patch and City are scoring goals for fun. There’s only one way this can go, right?
Gerrard’s men have been presenting opponents with far too many chances this season and City are perhaps the worst possible side to face while they are still sorting themselves out defensively.
City haven’t exactly been perfect at the back either, but it’s incredibly hard to see Villa getting the chance to take advantage of that. Their focus needs to be on keeping this scoreline respectable, but even then, that may not be possible.
Prediction: Aston Villa 0-3 Man City