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Premier League Preview: Manchester City vs. Aston Villa

May 7, 2014, 11:40 AM EDT

Britain Soccer Premier League AP
  • City has claimed 10 of 12 points since loss to Liverpool
  • Villa’s weekend win was first since March 15
  • Villa beat City 3-2 on Sept. 28 at Villa Park

Manchester City can take another step in its quest for its second Premier League title in three years when it hosts Aston Villa on Wednesday (Watch live at 2:45pm ET on NBCSN and online via NBC Sports Live Extra).

City can leapfrog Liverpool for first place in the table with a win, and even a draw would push them into first place on goal differential.

Villa clinched its Premier League safety this weekend with a 3-1 win over Hull City. The Midlands club hasn’t swept Manchester City since 1963, but did win at the Etihad Stadium in last season’s League Cup.

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What they’re saying…

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert on not mailing it in: “We’re not going there just to make up the numbers, we’re going there to try to win.You have to run a lot and run without the ball. We’re going to have to work really hard without the ball but you also know you’ve got to try to win the game and that’s what we’re going to try and do.”

Manchester City’s Martin Dimichelis: “We are so close now to winning the title but the most important thing at this stage is how we manage the pressure. We know that we are almost there but we haven’t achieved our goal yet. I hope that we can isolate ourselves from that.

Prediction

City will be firing on all cylinders, and certainly Manuel Pellegrini will keep a close eye on his defense regardless of the score after witnessing what befell Liverpool at Selhurst Park on Monday. Look for a cautious but comfortable 2-1 City win, as the coronation comes one step closer.

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