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Premier League Preview: Aston Villa - Manchester City

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Premier League Preview: Aston Villa - Manchester City
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Premier League Preview: Aston Villa - Manchester City

Manchester City will look to build on its 4-1 Premier League demolition of rival Manchester United when it travels to Aston Villa on Saturday.

Manuel Pellegrini's side produced a masterclass at the Etihad Stadium last Sunday, as a Sergio Aguero double and further strikes from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri consigned the reigning champion to a heavy defeat. City heads into the fixture at Villa Park on a three-game winning run in all competitions, which has seen the club score 12 goals and concede just one.

Last week's 3-0 success over Viktoria Plzen in the Champions League and a 5-0 thrashing of Wigan Athletic in the League Cup on Tuesday sandwiched the United victory.

Defenders Micah Richards and Gael Clichy could both feature in the game against Paul Lambert's men after returning from injury against Wigan. But Pellegrini believes the game will come too soon for playmaker David Silva to make his comeback from a thigh strain.

"We'll see if David is fit in the next day," Pellegrini said. "The doctor understands better than me what happened - I think maybe for next Saturday I don't think he can play, but maybe for next Wednesday against Bayern [in the Champions League] he could be fit."

Center back Martin Demichelis, who is yet to make his City debut after joining from Atletico Madrid during the transfer window, also remains sidelined with a knee problem.

Villa will be buoyed by its 1-0 success away to Norwich City on Saturday, which was the club's first league win since the opening day of the season and came courtesy of striker Libor Kozak's first goal for the club.

That win saw Villa end a run of three successive top-flight defeats, but Lambert has since been dealt a huge blow with the news that top scorer Christian Benteke will be out for up to six weeks with a hip flexor injury after he limped off at Carrow Road.

The Villans' first outing without the Belgium international saw them fall to a 4-0 defeat to Tottenham in the League Cup third round on Tuesday.

Lambert will also have to do without long-term absentee Charles N'Zogbia (Achilles) against City, while defender Jores Okore is likely to miss the rest of the season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament earlier this month.

City has won the last four Premier League encounters between the two sides and leads the overall head-to-head league record with 59 wins to Villa's 51.

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