Aston Villa v Manchester City: Portuguese duo can make the difference

Bernardo Silva
Bernardo Silva is back to his best this season.
  • Aston Villa vs Manchester City
  • Wed 1 Dec, 20:15

Portuguese stars Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva could be good for an assist and a goal respectively at decent prices, says Jamie Pacheco.

"The first option that comes to mind is Joao Cancelo getting another assist. Thirteen starts this campaign have yielded five assists for the full-back. There are plenty of playmakers who‘d be envious of his attacking returns and range of passing."

Gerrard making instant impact

Steven Gerrard has made an immediate impact at Aston Villa with two games, two wins.

On Saturday his Villa side secured a fine win away at Crystal Palace. Matt Targett and John McGinn scored the goals and one of the things that was noticeable was that Danny Ings started on the bench.

They paid good money for him in the summer and he's one of the league's most reliable goal-scorers. But (for that match, at least) Gerrard decided that the shape was more important than the players and so Ings sat it out, with Ollie Watkins preferred as the lone striker with two wide players either side of him.

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From hovering around the relegation zone, Villa are now up to 11th with 16 points and Gerrard says there's plenty of room for improvement.

Let's see.

Results good but injuries mounting up

It was a good weekend for Manchester City, beating a West Ham side who inflicted Liverpool's only league defeat of the season on them and had been in fine form.

Playing in what was essentially a snowstorm, they weathered the conditions well and created quite a few chances given what they were up against in terms of snow and, at times, poor visibility.

Raheem Sterling started again to perhaps ease some fears over a January exit but something's clearly not quite right there and he may still leave (if allowed) if he carries on not starting as many games as he would like.

Ilkay Gundogan is back in goal-scoring form while Bernardo Silva, another who was ironically meant to be on the way out, had another very good game.

Kevin de Bruyne and Ferran Torres are definitely out, Jack Grealish and Phil Foden are doubtful.

Should City be as short as that?

The head-to-head between these two does not make for good reading if you're a Villa fan.

City have won each of the last seven between these two, five of them in the league and one in each of the two Cup competitions.

Across those seven games, Villa have scored three, City have netted 23.

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Last season there was a 2-0 win for City at home and a hard-fought 2-1 in Birmingham in a game where each team had a man sent off.

City have now won five in a row with a couple of Champions League wins thrown in there as well.

Still, 1.374/11 looks a little short. There may just be a little bit of fatigue kicking in with so many regular starters out injured and, although City are obviously better prepared than most to deal with that, players like Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo and Rodri may just be feeling it a bit.

Villa are clearly on a high and confident right now so that City price is pretty tempting to take on. It's 9.89/1 the Villa win and 5.69/2 the draw.

Cancelo and Silva decent picks

Just because the City win price doesn't appeal, doesn't mean we can't go in search of a couple of City players to be involved with goals.

After all, City have averaged over three goals a game against Villa in their last seven and over three goals a game in their past nine matches.

The first option that comes to mind is Joao Cancelo getting another assist. Thirteen starts this campaign have yielded five assists for the full-back. There are plenty of playmakers who'd be envious of his attacking returns and range of passing.

The way he plays these days he's often the one playing the final ball from dangerous positions, especially with that trio of regular playmakers out injured. It's 11/4 he gets an assist and that looks very decent.

In terms of goalscorers, it's another Portuguese player who could be of interest.

Bernardo Silva has four for the season in the league, two in his last four and also netted against Villa in that 2-0 win last campaign. So he certainly ticks a few boxes a 2/1.

Bet Builder comes to 5.35

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One thing I didn't yet mention was the suspension of Aymeric Laporte. He's been really good this year and will be missed by the City defence.

That and the fact Villa have scored more goals since Gerrard arrived brings the both teams to score (9/10) into play.

If you add an Ikay Gundogan goal to that at 12/5, another player in decent scoring form, the double comes to 5.35.

JAMIE'S 2021/22 P AND L

Staked: 17
Returned: 3.72
P/L: -13.28 pts

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