Manchester City vs Aston Villa LIVE Football Score 12/02/2023
Manchester City could close the gap on Arsenal to only two points with a win over Aston Villa. Having experienced one of the most turbulent weeks off the field in their 143-year history, Manchester City return to Premier League action with the visit of Aston Villa to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Pep Guardiola’s side fell to a 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last time out, while the visitors are looking to bounce back from a defeat of their own after going down 4-2 to Leicester City.Keeping players focused on the top-flight title race has been a thankless task for Pep Guardiola in recent days, as Man City take to the pitch for the first time since being charged with over 100 alleged breaches of Premier League financial rules relating to sponsorship income, revenue and operating costs.
While the Citizens have emphatically denied the charges – which have now been passed on to an independent commission – a sombre atmosphere would have surely been present at the training ground this week, as players and staff rack their brains regarding their futures in Manchester. There will be no rapid decision regarding the accusations, but City could be hit with unprecedented sanctions if found guilty – from points deductions and fines to expulsion from the league – and Guardiola will no doubt be dreading the questions coming his way as City aim to avoid falling further behind Arsenal at the summit.
The reigning champions could not take advantage of the Gunners’ slip-up at Everton last time out, as their Tottenham Hotspur Stadium hoodoo continued courtesy of Harry Kane’s record-breaking 267th Lilywhites goal, leaving them five points behind Mikel Arteta’s side having played a game more. The gap at the top will increase to eight points should Arsenal put Brentford to the sword on Saturday, so extending their winning run at the Etihad Stadium to five games in all competitions is of paramount importance to City, whose fans are in desperate need of something to cheer.Unai Emery’s time at Arsenal was not a congenial affair, but the ex-
Gunners boss can give his former club another major helping hand in the title fight by taking advantage of the Citizens’ predicament this weekend. The Spaniard’s positive impact has been well and truly felt in the West Midlands since taking the reins from Steven Gerrard, but his luck ran out when Leicester City came to town, inflicting an unexpected defeat on the Lions in a six-goal thriller. Ollie Watkins and a Harry Souttar own goal put Villa ahead twice in the game, but James Maddison, Kelechi Iheanacho, Tete and Dennis Praet all breached the Lions’ backline to prevent Emery’s 11th-placed side from usurping Chelsea and Liverpool into the top half.
Aston Villa can proudly boast a three-game winning run in Premier League away matches – seeing off Brighton & Hove Albion, Tottenham and Southampton in that hot streak – but not since 2009 have the visitors collected more successive victories on the road. Gerrard was oh so close to winning the Premier League title for Liverpool at the Etihad last term, but Man City produced a sensational comeback on the final day of the season to triumph 3-2, although they missed their shot at a 10th consecutive success against Villa earlier this season in a 1-1 stalemate. Arsenal’s runaway charge to the Premier League trophy is still being pursued by Pep Guardiola’s side, who can prepare for their upcoming midweek clash in fine style by beating Villa.
Unai Emery has sparked some life into the Midlands club yet there has been a strong degree of inconsistency restricting their bid to rise up the table. Manchester City vs Aston Villa is scheduled for a 4.30pm GMT kick-off on Sunday February 12, 2023.City have lost John Stones for up to a month after Guardiola confirmed a thigh injury for the defender. Phil Foden is battling to return to the squad following a virus. Diego Carlos, Jed Steer and Bertrand Troare are the long-term absentees for Villa.
Emery may hand January signing Alex Moreno a recall after conceding four to Leicester a week ago.City’s woes should be aided by facing a team that is quite leaky at the back. It will be interesting to see how aggressive the visitors come out on the front foot and there could be plenty of goals.Villa have not beaten City since September 2013 – a winless run of 14 games – with John Carew and Shaun Moloney the goalscorers in their only ever league victory at the Etihad some 16 years ago.Manchester City supporters will be grateful to see the football take centre stage on Sunday after a turbulent few days off the pitch.
Charges put against City by the Premier League this week quickly overshadowed the disappointing defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Had the Blues won in north London they would have cut the gap to five points between themselves and Arsenal at the top of the table.
Instead, City could be sitting 11 points adrift of the Gunners by the time they kick off at 4:30pm against Aston Villa. The last time City faced Villa at the Etihad Stadium was the final match of the 2021/22 season which saw the Blues come from 2-0 down to win 3-2.Another thrilling match like that would at least brighten an otherwise gloomy week. With that in mind, here is how MEN Sport see the Blues lining up against Unai Emery’s men this weekend.Ederson will keep his place in goal to face Villa. He is comfortably the Blues’ first choice and only injury will prevent him from starting on Sunday afternoon.Guardiola will be looking for a reaction from his players and after the week they have just had, the Catalan boss will be needing his senior players more than ever. Manuel Akanji and Rico Lewis have not done anything wrong but with a big clash against Arsenal on the horizon, it would not hurt to rotate.
Ake moving back to left-back will hopefully see him put in a similar performance to that which we have come to expect in his newly-discovered role.Rodri was by no means at his sharpest on Sunday but with defensive midfield options thin on the ground, he is likely to keep his place. De Bruyne was a surprise absence from the team picked last weekend and surely he will not be dropped again.
Gundogan has fond memories of this fixture, as does his Spanish teammate behind him, and he will be hoping to recreate a similar impression on Sunday.One of the biggest tasks for Villa will surely be to stop Grealish. City’s £100million man is finely showing the consistency we were expecting when he made the switch from the West Midlands and is now almost undroppable.