What a week and a half it's been. We thumped Plzen to get the Champion's League started off right, following that up with a total beat down of red scum. To top it off, we had a glut of goals in the Capital One Cup. It's the perfect time of the season to get on a hot streak, with Bayern Munich coming into town on Wednesday. In the past few matches Dzeko has scored two, Aguero got three, and Alvaro Negredo has been key to setting things up.
Seems that Manuel Pellegrini has solved the problem of our strikers not scoring pretty quickly. So far our 4 strikers have 11 goals and another 8 assists. That's a pretty good return so far. Add in the fact that Yaya Toure is stuck in beast mode and has scored 5 already, and you've got an attacking unit that's clicking pretty well.
Unfortunately, we haven't done well in our away games in the Premier League, with only 1 point to show out of the 6 possible. A loss to Khaleesi and a draw at Stoke leaves something to be desired.
Aston Villa are missing Christian Benteke (which is fortunate, although with Kompany back I think we could handle him pretty easily), and also won't have Charles N'Zogbia and a few others. Villa might get a few back, including Agbonlahor, Andreas Weimann, and Fabian Delph. Any of those three missing from the lineup would be a huge blow.
Manchester City are still without David Silva, who is nearly recovered from a groin strain, but not enough to risk him yet. In addition, Sergio Aguero will be rested before the Bayern game, after having picked up a slight knock against United. Micah Richards and Gael Clichy are both back, having put in good performances against Wigan. Jack Rodwell would be a perfect player to start, but is still out with a muscle strain.
Villa - Brad Guzan will be key again this week. Last week he gave his team three points they didn't deserve against Norwich, saving a penalty and making some incredible saves. He will need to be even better to keep a hot City team from putting 5 past him. The other key players for Villa will be their 3 struggling for fitness, Agbonlahor, Weimann, and Delph. All three are good on the counterattack, and will be key to making City work for the 3 points.
City - The decisions by Pellegrini for who to start and who to rest before the Bayern match will not be easy ones. With Aguero ruled out, it seems likely to have Jovetic in the starting XI for his 2nd Premier League start. It will be interesting to see whether Yaya and Fernandinho both play the full 90, or whether we see Javi Garcia get a start in the midfield.
I think we'll see Edin Dzeko up front, with Jovetic behind him. Navas and Nasri on the wings. Javi and Ferna in midfield, with Zaba, Kompany, Nasty, and Clichy.
Things to Watch For
How well do Jovetic and Dzeko play together? So far, the other 3 strikers have combined well. Jovetic hasn't had the greatest start, fighting some knocks. He got a few goals against Wigan, but neither were clean or fluid looking. He looks a bit out of sorts. Playing along Dzeko might only exacerbate that.
In addition, can Nasri keep his hot streak going? He's scored some good goals, and provided more than a few defense splitting passes.