Manchester City vs Aston Villa: Predicted lineup, key players, and team news

Aston Villa v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League
Aston Villa v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Premier League / James Baylis - AMA/GettyImages

Aston Villa's impressive away form faces its ultimate test on Wednesday as they lock horns with Premier League titans Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. Unai Emery's men, bolstered by recent away successes, aim to defy the daunting odds that come with facing a City side boasting 13 consecutive home wins against Villa.

Despite a formidable challenge, Villa will enter the fray with some optimism. Their 1-0 victory over City earlier this season snapped a decade-long winless streak against the Manchester juggernaut.

However, Emery will be without several vital players for this pivotal encounter. Key figures like Ollie Watkins, their leading scorer, John McGinn (suspended), Matty Cash, Jacob Ramsey, and Boubacar Kamara remain out of action.

Ezri Konsa, a defensive stalwart for Villa, is poised to step into the right-back role to alleviate Cash's absence. His task is unenviable: stymying the goal-scoring phenomenon that is Erling Haaland.

Meanwhile, the lightning-quick Leon Bailey possesses the speed and trickery to potentially expose cracks in City's backline, especially if he can capitalise on counterattacking opportunities.

On the other side of the pitch, Manchester City enters the match with eyes on extending their unbeaten streak to 15 games. Although Pep Guardiola's squad may contend with the injuries of Kyle Walker and John Stones, they still flaunt formidable depth and top-tier talent.

Jeremy Doku's potential absence could see Phil Foden shift to the left flank and Bernardo Silva operate on the right. Haaland, the Norwegian sensation, will look to further inflate his goal total.

Manchester City vs Aston Villa: Predicted Lineups

Aston Villa (4-4-2): Martinez; Konsa, Torres, Carlos, Digne; Bailey, Luiz, Tielemans, Rogers; Diaby, Duran

Manchester City (4-3-3): Ortega; Lewis, Dias, Akanji, Gvardiol; Rodri, Kovacic; Foden, De Bruyne, Grealish; Haaland

The bookmakers anticipate a close contest likely favouring Manchester City, given their dominance at the Etihad and Villa's depleted lineup. Nonetheless, Emery's side has defied expectations before. This match could once again see a spirited, underdog performance from Aston Villa as they seek a positive outcome against the reigning champions.