“The Latest Twist in the Premier League Title Race”

In the latest twist of the Premier League title race, Manchester City dropped three points behind leaders Liverpool after a goalless draw with Arsenal on Sunday. This result extended their unbeaten run across all competitions to 23 games (w19, d4). It’s worth noting that Aston Villa was the last team to beat Pep Guardiola’s side, and they were also the previous team to stop them from scoring. The upcoming match against Villa will surely be on their minds as they seek revenge for their 1-0 defeat in December.

City’s Unbeaten Home Record

Sunday’s draw against Arsenal was the first time that Manchester City failed to score at home since March 2022 when they played against Sporting Lisbon (d 0-0). However, the last time Villa shut them out at home was back in 2007. Despite this, City has won each of the last eight head-to-head matches against Villa at home, averaging an impressive 3.38 goals per game. Therefore, it seems likely that they will get their title push back on track in this match.

Villa’s Pursuit of a Fourth-Place Finish

Aston Villa has been pursuing a fourth-place finish this season and kept up their chase by defeating Wolves 2-0 on Saturday. However, the pressure is on as they still have to face each of the top three teams. Although they weren’t at their best over the weekend, they managed to return to winning ways after a mini-slump (d1, l1). Interestingly, Villa has already won as many league games this season as they did in the entire previous campaign (18). Their success is largely due to their strong home form. However, manager Unai Emery will have them set up to be hard to beat in this match, taking inspiration from Arsenal’s defensive performance. Additionally, Villa has yet to lose a competitive away game this calendar year (w4, d4), with four of those games resulting in a clean sheet (w1, d3).

Players to Watch

Manchester City’s Rodri has been enjoying home comforts as his last three club goals all came at the Etihad Stadium. He has also scored in both of the last two home head-to-head matches against Villa. On the other hand, Villa’s Nicolò Zaniolo is a goal threat but has also been collecting yellow cards, with four in his last seven appearances for club and country.

Hot Streak

It’s interesting to note that the home side on the day hasn’t scored before half-time in any of Manchester City’s last seven Premier League games (w4, d3). This statistic adds an extra layer of anticipation and unpredictability to the upcoming match against Aston Villa.

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