It’s top against bottom as EPL leaders and title favourites Manchester City travel to the Midlands on Sunday to take on relegation threatened Aston Villa.
The form of both clubs suggests the only question for online football tipsters and punters is ‘how many will City win by?’
City have excelled in the league and impressed in Europe while Villa have struggled, sacked former boss Tim Sherwood and employed new manager Remi Garde in an attempt to turn their season around and preserve their EPL status.
All about the money
It’s all about money at this level – with Man City’s recent success down to Arab oil wealth and Villa’s desperation to stay in the league because of the windfall from the new EPL TV deal next season.
While City have spent many millions strengthening their squad with players like Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne, Villa sold (or lost) the spine of their team at the end of last season including captain Fabian Delph to City and striker Christian Benteke to Liverpool.
Massive job for new boss
They reinvested but spent money on unproven youngsters who failed to click under Sherwood, securing just four points from 11 EPL games to leave them rooted at the bottom of the table. Their only win was on the opening day of the EPL against fellow strugglers Bournemouth.
Villa are on a seven game losing streak and Garde witnessed the massive job ahead when he saw his new side lose 3-1 to Spurs on Monday.
However, Garde is confident in his abilities and the talent of his squad, telling the club’s website: “I think the current level of the table doesn’t reflect the level of the team.
“The situation at the moment is very difficult for everybody. I have watched a lot of the games they have played since the start of the season.
“The team is unfortunate at the moment. Hopefully we can pull together and improve the level. I am quite confident because there are some very good players in the team.”
Mancini’s title tip
Football tipsters don’t come more qualified than former City manager Roberto Mancini and he has tipped the Sky Blues to win the title this season.
Mancini led City to a first league title in 44 years in the 2011-12 season – as well as winning the FA Cup during his three year tenure – and it’s clear that despite being the current manager of Inter Milan, City are very close to his heart.
He told the BBC: “I think that we [will] win the league – Manchester City will win the league.”
Commenting on his time at the Eithad and pointing at how fast a club’s fortunes can turn around when backed by billionaire owners, he added: “I was really proud about what I did in Manchester because we changed the situation there after many years,” he said.
“Seven or eight years ago, they played for relegation or mid-table. In the last four or five years Manchester City is the best team in the Premier League.”
By: Joe Cahal