EPL - Manchester City v Aston Villa

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2022/23 English Premier League

Matchday 23

Manchester City v Aston Villa

Etihad Stadium
Manchester, England
Sunday, 12 February 2023
Kick-off is at 17h30  
Manchester City will look to get their Premier League title defence back on track when Aston Villa arrive at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, February 12.
The Citizens suffered their second defeat in four games with a 1-0 reverse to Tottenham in London on February 5, having almost come unstuck against the same opposition 18 days prior when Pep Guardiola's side battled back from two goals down to emerge 4-2 victors.
City missed out on the chance to close the gap on league leaders Arsenal, who were beaten 1-0 by Everton on February 4, with the difference between first and second place remaining at five points.
Manchester United managed to close within three points of their neighbours in third position after seeing off Crystal Palace 2-1, while Newcastle are a further two points adrift in fourth spot following a 1-1 draw with West Ham.

Erling Haaland
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The Villans have made significant strides under Unai Emery since he replaced Steven Gerrard at the helm on November 1, winning five of their last eight matches.
Emery tasted only the second defeat of his tenure as Leicester came from behind to triumph 4-2 at Villa Park on February 4, leaving Villa just outside the top 10 in 11th position.
The West Midlands giants trail Liverpool (10th) by a single point, while they are four points clear of 12th-placed Palace, who have gone five matches without a win.
Erling Haaland has made a massive impact in England following his arrival from Borussia Dortmund in the off-season, scoring an impressive 25 goals in just 20 top-flight appearances. However, City have been criticised for not making more use of him and the Norwegian striker cut a frustrated figure at Spurs after failing to register any touches in the opposition box or manage any shots at goal.
Ollie Watkins continues to play a crucial role for Emery and netted his fifth goal of the campaign against the Foxes. The former Brentford striker hit double figures in each of his first two seasons at Villa Park and should do so again in 2022-23 if he can stay fit. Watkins could cause the City defence all sorts of problems with his pace, having scored against them last term.

Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa
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In team news, the hosts remain without John Stones (thigh) but Philip Foden could make his return after missing the last two games with an ankle injury.
Meanwhile, Diego Carlos (calf), Bertrand Traore (knee) and Jed Steer (calf) are still sidelined for the visitors but the trio are all closing in on their respective comebacks.
Guardiola was pleased with the shift his players put in against Spurs and insists they will continue to fight despite results not having gone their way at times this season.
"We had our chances, but against a team that defends really well, it's not going to be easy," the Spaniard said. "The guys gave everything, and we had our opportunity score, but we couldn't do it.
"I have a lot of gratitude for these players. I knew it, we are not same after winning a lot but the way we try to go with the fight and fight to the end. We try until the end. We look at the next step, everything is nice and doesn't matter what happened in the past."
Emery admits mistakes proved costly against Leicester as they missed out on the chance to climb into the top half of the table but feels progress is being made. 
"Today we lost but two months ago we were at the bottom of the table and we were thinking at the beginning to stay in the Premier League," the Spaniard said.
"We had the opportunity to win here and go into the top 10 teams, but it was an opportunity lost. Now, we have to react quickly, analyse the match and try to improve on the mistakes we made.
"Overall, what we are doing continues to be positive. We have to be very demanding of ourselves to improve."  

Head-to-Head (Last Five Premier League Meetings)

Matches - 5
Man City - 4
Villa - 0
Draws - 1

Premier League fixtures - matchday 23:

Saturday, February 11
13h30: West Ham United v Chelsea
16h00: Arsenal v Brentford
16h00: Crystal Palace v Brighton & Hove Albion
16h00: Fulham v Nottingham Forest
16h00: Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur
16h00: Southampton v Wolverhampton Wanderers
18h30: Bournemouth v Newcastle United
Sunday, February 12
15h00: Leeds United v Manchester United
17h30: Manchester City v Aston Villa
Monday, February 13
21h00: Liverpool v Everton

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Published: 02/10/2023