Manchester City v Aston Villa – The Etihad at 17:30 live on Sky Sports 1

The Saturday evening Premier League action comes from the Etihad as Manchester City look to re-establish themselves in second place before both Manchester United and Arsenal play on Sunday afternoon.

This is an intriguing match for Asian handicap betting professionals as Aston Villa are fresh off the back of a famous Wembley win over Liverpool in the FA Cup Semi-Final, but with their Premier League status at risk Tim Sherwood’s team must transfer that cup form to the league before it is too late.

For Manchester City and manager Manuel Pellegrini all that is left is for them to save face by finishing the season as strongly as they can to hopefully claim second place, behind champions elect Chelsea.

Pellegrini is remaining defiant about his job at City but it is hard to see the club giving him another chance next year after such a disappointing campaign, which has seen them go backwards in terms of both domestic and European competition.

Their league form of late has been diabolical for a team supposedly defending their crown as champions, just five wins in their last ten and four defeats over the same period leaves them with the realistic prospect of finishing in fourth place and having to qualify for the group stage of next seasons Champions League.

However their home form has remained impressive throughout and with their last four home games ending 5-0, 2-0, 3-0 and 2-0, all against similar level opponents to Aston Villa, the Citizens should be looking forward to another comfortable victory this weekend.

The visitors are hoping to ride the crest of an FA Cup wave of optimism after their thrilling 2-1 victory over Liverpool at the weekend and combined with a 1-0 away win against Tottenham the week before, they have reason to feel confident about their trip to Manchester tomorrow.

Another reason to hope for the best as a Villa fan, is the form of Belgian striker Christian Benteke who has been revitalised under new boss Sherwood in the last few weeks. The big and powerfully forward has netted an incredible ten goals in his last nine games for Villa in all competitions!

That form has helped the once doomed midlands team win five of the last ten matches, to give themselves a very real chance of not only avoiding the drop, but also qualifying for the Europa League next year by winning the FA Cup.

Based on our prices the value in this match is with the underdogs and with an Asian handicap betting line of +1.75 to go with the attractive price, we need to find a solid reason to back the Villa this weekend.

Unfortunately, reasons to back them didn’t jump out at us this week because despite Villa’s defence performing well enough in general, they have been beaten by at least two goals by each of the top three sides on their travels. While that on its own is not such a bad statistic, it is looking at City’s record that puts us off.

Pellegrini’s team have beaten seven teams at home by at least two goals and as mentioned they are still in great form at home at the moment. Plus, they have beaten Villa at the Etihad by at least three goals on each of their last four visits to the ground in the Premier League.

With Benteke back in form, Villa can cause City some problems at the back but the hosts should still be able to overcome the FA Cup finalists at home, without too much trouble. This brings the Asian handicap total goals line into focus and this is where our money will be going tomorrow while the Citizens bring the Villans back down to earth with a bump.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 3 Goals at 1.87

Prices correct at the time of writing.

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