Aston Villa - Manchester City Preview: Upset unlikely as Villans host table topping City
Can Guzan do enough to keep out City's lethal attackers? (photo: Jonathan Walsh/VAVEL)

Aston Villa will welcome Manchester City to Villa Park this Sunday, knowing that they've got quite the job on their hands to avoid making it eight straight Premier League defeats.

Rémi Garde will take his place in the dugout for the first time as Villa manager following replacing Tim Sherwood, with how to get the Villans out of the relegation zone on his mind. There are no such concerns for City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who has successfully led his team to the top of the Premier League table. 

Team's go into game with varying form

Aston Villa are facing a confidence crisis, and come into their 12th league game of the season having only won one of their previous 11. That win came as a scrappy 1-0 against AFC Bournemouth on the opening day, meaning that by kick-off on Sunday, it will be over three months since they won a league game.

It's been quite a while since they drew one either, with losses coming thick and fast. Defeats to Leicester City, West Brom, Liverpool, Stoke City, Chelsea and Swansea City made it six in a row, with the last of those spelling the end for Sherwood.

Interim Kevin MacDonald was in charge for Monday's game away against Tottenham Hotspur, and it was another defeat. Moussa Dembele's goal after two minutes and twenty seconds saw Villa get off to the worse possible start, and it didn't get any better from there, as they ran out 3-1 losers. 

City meanwhile, are unbeaten in eight, and cruised to a convincing away win against Sevilla in the Champions League on Tuesday, triumphing 3-1 against a team who had won their 10 previous home European games. 

Team news

The Villans have seen a number of senior players, such as Jores Okore, return to action in previous weeks, meaning that their injury list is relatively small.

Gary Gardner is close to a return, but won't be available for Sunday's game due to an ankle injury, whilst club captain Gabriel Agbonlahor remains a doubt due to the calf injury that forced him off at half-time against Tottenham.

Idrissa Gueye is likely to return to the starting lineup after being rested for that game, whilst Jordan Amavi will be hoping to come back in at left-back, ahead of Kieran Richardson.

Garde will be comforted by the fact that the Citizens are missing a number of key players for the match, such as Sergio Aguero and David Silva. Whilst those two are the key losses, they'll also feel the absence of playmaker Samir Nasri, who could have filled in for Silva.

Aston Villa predicted XI: Guzan, Hutton, Richards, Okore, Amavi, Gueye, Westwood, Ayew, Gil, Grealish, Sinclair.

Manchester City predicted XI: Hart, Sagna, Otamendi, Kompany, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Toure, Navas, de Bruyne, Sterling, Bony.

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