City Looks To Secure Second Spot

Image courtesy of uefa.com/Getty Images
City skipper Vincent Kompany and his defence shouldn't have too much work against Villa. Image courtesy of uefa.com/Getty Images
Last start in the EPL, Manchester City beat Chelsea 2-0 to get a firm grip on second place on the table. This Monday night, they take on a team possibly even more desperate for points, but for a completely different reason. Aston Villa lies in 18th spot on the table, equal on points with Wigan Athletic, but inside the relegation zone thanks to their league-worst goal difference of -26.


With Manchester United runaway 12-point leaders in the Premier League with just eleven games to go, City seems to be turning some of its attention to next season. There is talk the Citizens will target Barcelona’s Chile striker Alexis Sanchez, while Roberto Mancini is also apparently targeting Tottenham’s in-form winger Gareth Bale.


City’s win over Chelsea was its first in four matches. Prior to that they lost 3-1 to Southampton and shared the points with bottom-placed Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool. Their recent record against Villa is very good, though, with the Sky Blues having won six of the last eight matches between the teams. Paul Lambert’s team did score a 4-2 extra-time win over City in the League Cup, but was brought back to earth with a thud as the reigning champion thumped them 5-0 at the City of Manchester Stadium.


The Birmingham club will go down for the first time in 26 years if it can’t climb out of the relgation zone in the next couple of months. The Claret and Blue has won just one of its last ten – a 2-1 victory over West Ham on February 10 – but they’ll have to accumulate points more regularly if they’re to avoid being in the bottom three on the final day of the season.


Belgium international striker Christian Benteke had a streak of five straight games with a goal before last weekend’s 2-1 loss to Arsenal. In contrast to most of the season, Villa hasn’t had any problems scoring of late, finding the back of the net in their last seven games, but they have now gone 11 premiership fixtures without keeping a clean sheet.


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