Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Manchester City v Aston Villa

Thank the heavens that another international break is almost over. Although to be fair, a lot of our lads did do well for their national sides which can only be good for morale and confidence as they look to push ever onwards with the Premier League campaign. We came through relatively unscathed with only Mario Balotelli returning with a new injury which, hopefully, wont keep him out long.

Judging from what we've been fed in the media we could only have one striker available to the game on Saturday. Aguero has a groin strain, Balotelli suffered some sort of back injury in Italy and we'll not mention the 'other one'. On the bright side of that though, although Dzeko's last club goal came in the thrashing City gave Spurs he proved he's no slouch during the international break by scoring a great effort on the edge of the area for Bosnia in mid-week.

City have yet to concede a goal at home this season (domestically anyway) although Villa have a fellow that always seems to score against City, Darren Bent. Most clubs have a bogey team, and some are unfortunate enough to have a bogey player too. Darren Bent has been City's. I don't think anyone would consider him 'world class' but there's no denying that he knows where the goal is. A goal every 179 minutes on average in the Premier League throughout his career is a very good record. 

Villa's other significant goal threat is Gabriel Agbonlahor, and while I think almost everyone chuckled (if not laughed out loud) as Stilian Petrov compared him to the slime-ball that is Cristiano Ronaldo, he is on good form having scored 4 in 7 so far this season and is said to be fit for the game on Saturday.

McLeish's men haven't been poor as they sit in 7th spot at the moment with 11 points from their first 7 games, although they have only won one game since their win against Blackburn at home on August 20th. Even Heskey scored that day.

Needless to say City will be wanting another big win to keep the pressure on at the top end of the table. Goals haven't been hard to come by so far, but if Aguero and Balotelli are out then the pressure is on Dzeko and the rest of the squad to step up. This doesn't seem to be a problem at all right now as 9 different players have scored in the Premier League, 12 if you count all competitions, and there were 4 different scorers in the last game against Blackburn.

The corresponding fixture last season saw City win 4-0 with Balo scoring a hat trick with a tap in at the back post sandwiched between 2 superbly arrogant penalties. Lets hope for a similar result this time round.

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