Man City can score either side of break when letting loose on Aston Villa

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Aston Villa do not generally enjoy their trips to Manchester City and it is hard to foresee this visit being much different to normal, even despite their promising display in defeat to Manchester United last time.

Villa led 2-0 early in the second half before substitute Javier Hernandez came to the rescue of the Red Devils and things get no easier for Paul Lambert as he heads to the other of this season’s title favourites.

Manchester City are the only team in the top four divisions still unbeaten this season in England and they have not been beaten in 35 Premier League games at the Etihad.

Therefore, 2/9 on a home win will seem like free money to some punters and certainly provides a better rate of return than banks at present.

Man City have netted 18 goals against Villa in their last six home encounters and in the last four Premier League seasons they have prevailed by at least two goals.

As a result, 8/15 is not the worst price that Roberto Mancini’s men defy a one-goal handicap.

However, in these last six home games what has also been noticeable is that the Premier League champions have found the target in both halves and another repeat of this can be backed at a tempting 4/6.

One of the big dilemmas for punters is whether Mario Balotelli will start, as he just loves playing against Aston Villa.

Balotelli has four goals in two Premier League appearances against Villa and six against them in all competitions.

The fact he was completely left out against Tottenham in Man City’s last game gives the impression he will at worst make the bench here and it is 9/2 that Balotelli strikes first and 6/5 that he beats Brad Guzan at any time in the 90 minutes.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.