Manchester City vs. Aston Villa Odds, Pick | Premier League Betting Preview (Sunday, Feb. 12)
Visionhaus/Getty. Pictured: Erling Haaland.
Manchester City vs. Aston Villa Odds
Man City Odds
Aston Villa Odds
|Over/Under||3.5 (+125/ -155)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-112 / -112)|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get the latest soccer odds here.|
Manchester City look to rebound after their loss to Tottenham last weekend when they host Aston Villa on Sunday.
City’s title hopes took a blow last Sunday, as their loss kept them five points behind Arsenal. It’s been a bad run of form for Manchester City. who now have sanctions looming over their heads plus a huge match against Arsenal that could ultimately decide who wins the league on Wednesday.
Unai Emery suffered just his second Premier League defeat at the helm of Aston Villa, as they allowed Leicester to put four past them at home in a 4-2 loss.
The defensive performance and mistakes were shocking, but Aston Villa have proven to be a formidable foe for the big six this season and they should be able to give Manchester City a lot of problems.
Man City Struggling With New Approach
What Manchester City have been doing recently is building up in a 3-2-3-2, with Rico Lewis quickly becoming their most important player in the build up play. He plays as an inverted fullback with Rodri dropping into the back three.
There’s nothing wrong with building up in that shape, but it is very narrow for City, who have become too reliant on playing through the middle of the pitch.
That was a big problem against Tottenham on Sunday, as Spurs have the best low block and are the best team in the Premier League at keeping you out of the middle of the pitch. Julian Alvarez came on to play alongside Erling Haaland in hopes of freeing up some space in between the lines, but it didn’t work.
Haaland didn’t even attempt a shot in the match and since City were not able to play through the middle of the pitch and since their build up shape was so narrow.
The question surrounding Manchester City right now is whether the team is worse offensively with Haaland. The stats say yes.
So, were Man City a better team without Erling Haaland? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/Ls2xjBTbQd
— Squawka (@Squawka) February 5, 2023
Manchester City hold a ton of possession, which usually makes their defensive numbers look elite. However, this season they’ve been much more vulnerable in transition. City are allowing the fewest box and final third entries in the Premier League, which is not surprising, but their final third to box entry conversion rate is dead last in the Premier League.
So, facing a transitional team like Aston Villa, City may have trouble once again.
Aston Villa Capable of Defending Top Sides
Aston Villa put in a bad performance against against Leicester on Saturday and the reason they allowed four goals wasn’t really because of bad defensive play, but rather mistakes and turnovers from trying to build out of the back.
That is not going to happen against a side like City, and you will most likely see Aston Villa play a lot of long balls out from the back. The Aston Villa defense has been solid all season, allowing 1.38 npxG per 90 minutes and ranking high inn the league across most defensive stats.
Unai Emery has already shown an ability to stifle some of the best offenses in the Premier League, holding Manchester United, Brighton and Tottenham under 1 xG.
Aston Villa are well equipped to employ the same game plan that Spurs did against Manchester City, and I have faith in their execution.
Man City vs. Aston Villa Pick
Betting on Manchester City suddenly turning things around after creating less than 1 xG against Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United is a bit foolish in my opinion.
Without Joao Cancelo to provide overlapping runs and progressive passes, City are left without the tactical flexibility that Pep Guardiola is used to.
Emery is one of the best managers in the world as an underdog. He consistently gave Barcelona and Real Madrid headaches when he was at Villarreal and even took the Yellow Submarine to the Champions League semifinals last season, knocking out Bayern Munich in the process.
So, I like Aston Villa +1.5 at +117.
Pick: Aston Villa +1.5 (+117)
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