Villa secured Premier League safety on Saturday while City took a huge step towards lifting the title - and there's little reason to doubt Pellegrini's charges in this midweek meeting, says Joe Dyer...
"The assumption that City are going to beat Villa handsomely is understandable. Pellegrini’s men are beginning to hit their free-scoring form of mid-season with 15 goals from their last six games, while Villa are more than capable of conceding heavily, witness Swansea and Manchester United hitting them for four in recent weeks."
Manchester City v Aston Villa
Wednesday May 7, 19:45
Live on Sky Sports 1
Saturday evening's 3-2 win at Everton has all but sealed the title for City and just a pair of home games against bottom half sides, themselves safe from relegation, remain. Short price backers could do worse than take the 1.251/4 about City winning the title.
Star striker Sergio Aguero looks the only major fitness doubt for manager Manuel Pellegrini to contend with as he seeks the win that would take him one step closer to a league title in his debut season in English football.
Safety was assured following Saturday's 3-1 defeat of Hull City, but this has been a really poor season at Villa Park. Paul Lambert's team, 14th in the table, have been defeated in half of their 36 Premier League games and only the mediocrity of Fulham, Cardiff and, almost certainly, Norwich, has saved them from a final day relegation scrap. Bizarrely, a win on Wednesday would complete a league double over City after a highly improbable 3-2 victory back in September.
Strikers Chrisitian Benteke and Libor Kozak are long-term absentees and they may be joined on the sidelines by Gabriel Agbonlahor, leaving Andreas Weimann to lead the line.
Match Odds/Correct Score
You rarely see Premier League teams trade much shorter than City's 1.162/13 but it's impossible to argue with their status as overwhelming favourites, even if you're not going to touch the price. Villa are a scarcely believable 23.022/1 to win with the draw in double figures at 10.09/1.
Whichever way you look at it, the only prediction you can make (in public at least) is a home win. But with City trading at such cramped odds we must search for bigger prices which still factor in three points for the home team.
The Asian Handicap is the usual starting place for bigger prices and the bad news is City are odds-on to win the game by a three-goal margin or better - 1.9310/11 -2.5 goals.
The assumption that City are going to beat Villa handsomely is understandable. Pellegrini's men are beginning to hit their free-scoring form of mid-season with 15 goals from their last six games, while Villa are more than capable of conceding heavily, witness Swansea and Manchester United hitting them for four in recent weeks.
But rather than take a price just shy of evens about the big City win, why not chance our arm with a couple of correct score bets where the rewards for hitting the winner are so much bigger?
With slight doubts about Aguero starting, let alone playing for 90 minutes, I don't think City will completely destroy Villa and I'm happy to assume the home side will score three goals. A total of 14 clean sheets shows they are capable of decent defensive performances so backing 3-0 and 3-1 are my selections. An Opta stat neatly underlines City's likely dominance - the title favourites have scored 150 goals in all competitions this season, 107 more than Villa. They should win this, and they should win this by a couple.
If the game goes as expected you will definitely get the chance to Cash Out or lay your stakes.
Back City to win 3-0 @ 8.07/1 or better and 3-1 at 13.012/1 or better