Aston Villa vs Man CityJake Cooper | 12 Oct 2016
Christian Benteke looks set to make a long-awaited return to Aston Villa, joining the squad for the first time since March, when they host Man City on Saturday.
The Belgian striker has scored an impressive 29 goals in 60 Premier League performance but has been side-lined for months due to a torn Achilles. His injury took him out of the remainder of the 2013-14 campaign and prevented him from joining Belgium at the World Cup in Brazil.
Benteke began his Villa return on Monday for the Under-21s side where he scored a goal, assisting the side in their 3-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers. The 23-year-old was taken off after about an hour of play and is likely to feature on Saturday for at least a short time.
Villa captain Ron Vlaar is currently an uncertainty for the game against Man City due to a minor calf injury.
Andreas Weimann scored the winning goal for Villa in last season’s equivalent fixture. The Villans won that game 3-2 and will be hoping for a similar result this time around, particularly if their former star striker is back on form.
“That win last season at Villa Park was a fantastic moment in the season,” Weimann commented this week. “We were clinical on the day, we took our chances and we were rewarded with a great win. It was a really good afternoon and it would be great to experience that feeling again.”
Although Villa started the season strongly they’ve fallen back again in their last couple of games, losing 3-0 against both Arsenal and Chelsea.
Man City, who currently stand at third place in the table, have had a mixed bag so far this season and have yet to hit their stride. Yaya Toure, who was critical in their winning campaign last term, has been accused by some of not putting in the effort.
Vincent Kompany, City’s captain, has defended his teammate but the side will need a stellar performance from the Ivory Coast international if they’re to have a chance of closing the gap with table-toppers Chelsea.
A win for the Blues on Saturday would put some welcome pressure on Jose Mourinho’s side, who currently have a 3 point lead at the top of the table, as they prepare to play Arsenal on Sunday.
City have been struggling to make an impact in the Champions League so far having lost to Bayern Munich in their first group game and drawn 1-1 against Roma at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
Pellegrini will be without Samir Nasri until the end of the month after he sustained a groin injury, whilst Matija Nastasic, Steven Jovetic and Fernando remain unlikely to play.
Aston Villa vs Man City Betting Odds
(Betting odds provided by Betway)
Aston Villa 11/2
Manchester City 1/2