Opta Big Match Stats: Man City and Villa to binge on first-half thrills

Man City v Aston Villa
Saturday, 17:30
Live on Sky Sports 1

Match Odds: Man City [1.29], Aston Villa [13.0], The Draw [6.6]

Aston Villa have scored the same number of league goals under Tim Sherwood this season as they managed under Paul Lambert

Villa have netted 12 times in eight Premier League games since Sherwood first brought his brand of “passion” to the club, which is identical to what they managed in 25 outings under the more cautious Lambert. They are getting progressively more prolific too, notching in seven of their last eight fixtures in all competitions and 15 times in total in that period. Man United, Tottenham and Liverpool were among the teams breached, so there is no reason to suspect that Man City will prove immune.

Recommended Bet: Back Man City not to keep a clean sheet @ [1.87]

Aston Villa have scored just six second-half goals all term

If you need help putting into context quite how terrible a tally of six second-half goals in 33 Premier League matches is, the record low that they are on course to smash is 11. The worst Premier League side ever – Derby circa 2007/08 – were the last to register that amount. The best way to turn that mega negative into a positive is with a bet on the first half delivering more goals than the final 45, particularly as eight of Man City’s previous 12 Etihad Stadium league strikes arrived before the break.

Recommended Bet: Back the first half to have the most goals @ [3.1]

Yaya Toure has scored in his last three Premier League appearances against Aston Villa

The brief Toure appreciation window in a campaign of heavy criticism seems to have shut over the past month and a half, but even in this slightly disappointing season, the Ivorian has hit double figures for underperforming Man City. The 31-year-old has also fired in four of his most recent seven home Premier League games. Though Aston Villa have improved markedly since sacking Lambert, they remain defensively vulnerable, leaking three times in two of their last three league encounters.

Recommended Bet: Back Toure to score @ [3.1]