Aston Villa vs. Manchester City: 5 Key Battles for Villians Against Citizens
Aston, the previous home of current Citizens James Milner and Gareth Barry, has been through multiple changes in the last six months, but Alex McLeish has them playing solid football.
The former Birmingham City boss has managed to keep Villa in the top of the table despite many feeling his side would be left wanting after the loss of both Stewart Downing to Liverpool and Ashley Young to Manchester United.
Roberto Mancini is finally showing how good of a squad he has assembled at Eastland's with the Citizens sitting at the top of the table with Manchester United. So far, David Silva has been his biggest star, as people are already looking at Silva as a possible PFA Player of the Year.
This battle of unbeaten sides will be a great matchup. Manchester City looks to be the better side by far, but if Villa can manage to win some of the personal battles in the match, they might have a decent chance of chasing a draw.
Samir Nasri vs Stiliyan Petrov
Stiliyan Petrov and Samir Nasri will both be attempting to build a creative dominance in midfield for their respected sides.
Nasri has been sensational for the Citizens since arriving from Arsenal, but Petrov continues to prove he can be a midfield workhorse and will be a main component of the Villains attack.
Carles N'Zogbia vs Gareth Barry
Gareth Barry will have to deal with Charles N'Zogbia attempting to cut in from the wings to the middle for much of the match upcoming against Villa. The England international has been great so far this season, and will be up for another challenge.
The former Newcastle and Wigan player is still looking to truly define himself as a go-to creative player for his newest club, and needs to have another good showing to keep pushing his form as much as possible.
Stephen Warnock vs David Silva
If David Silva lines up out to the right, former Liverpool and Blackburn defender Stephen Warnock will be charged with fending off the tricky Spaniard all night.
Silva has been a thorn in the side of every team the Citizens have played this season. He will be one of the main creative influences behind Segio Aguero and Edin Dzeko's success, or lack of it, against Villa.
Sergio Aguero vs Richard Dunne
Sergio Aguero has been one of the best buys of the Roberto Mancini era with Manchester City so far, and he is no doubt set to easily break into at least the 20-goal club in the league during his debut season.
Richard Dunne has been experiencing a revival of his career so far this season. He will have his hands full locking down the Argentine 23-year-old at the top of the box before he gets a chance to test Aston keeper Shay Given.
Gabriel Agbonlahor vs Joleon Lescott
Gabriel Agbonlahor looks to be having his breakout season with Aston Villa.
The partnership with Darren Bent looks to be going a long way towards forwarding his career in England, as has the affect of new boss Alex McLeish.
Joleon Lescott has a tough battle on his hands, as the strong attacker will be hoping to force his way into a good position to score. Dent has already hit the back of the net four times in seven games for Villa this season.
Manchester City and Aston Villa will make for a great matchup this weekend.
Villa are going to have to find a way to thwart the attacking pressure of City for the entire 90 minutes.
Everton proved that they could be held for at least 70 minutes, but Alex McLeish will have to hope that Shay Given and Richard Dunne can marshal the defense to hold on for even longer.
If Villa can find a way to hold on and build some quick counter-attacks, they have a chance of stealing at least a point at Etihad Stadium. Fulham pulled one over on City a month ago, so it is possible to get the best of them.
For more information and previews on the entire EPL schedule this weekend, you can check out English Premier League: Week 8 Match Previews and Predictions.