Welcome to the Evening Standard’s coverage of Manchester City vs Aston Villa LIVE, with kick-off at 12:30pm BST today.

Man City welcome Villa to the Etihad Stadium looking to close the gap on Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Prediction: Man City 3-0 Villa – both Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus are in fine goal scoring form, and you fancy the hosts to ease to victory whoever is given the nod.

Live stream/TV: BT Sport 1, with coverage from 12m. BT Sport subscribers can stream the match online via the video player and the BT Sport app.

Follow the action at the Etihad!

Live Updates



37 mins: Much better from City. It’s quick, one-touch football and Villa are struggling to play catch-up as Gundogan chips a ball into the box which Sterling heads wide from.

 

Decent opportunity, that.

YELLOW CARD


35 mins: Grealish can’t believe his misfortune as Mr Scott blows up for a foul on Sterling. His protests earn him a yellow card, but the midfielder was right to protest – absolutely nothing in it.


34 mins: Another appeal for handball after a fine block from Stones to deny Trezeguet a shot on goal.

 

The replay showed it hit his knee before hitting his hand and it’s the correct decision to award a corner, not a spot-kick.


31 mins: We’re a third of the way through the game and City are level with one shot on target with Villa, who have had the best chance of the game.

 

This game is wide open and the visitors have shown their ability so far.


27 mins: City are having to be patient in possession as Villa set up in a 4-5-1 shape when defending on the edge of their own box.

 

The spaces are appearing, but Guardiola’s men are just lacking the final pass at the moment. 


22 mins: HUGE chance for Villa!

 

It’s a poor pass from Stones and McGinn is onto it like a flash.

 

He curls one towards the far corner and Ederson palms it out into the path of Douglas Luiz, who almost lifts it over his compatriot but it’s a fine save again.

 

 

A quick VAR check for a penalty-  for a suspected handball – confirms it’s only a corner.


20 mins: Cancelo tests Heaton’s reflexes with a long drive from distance on his left foot, but the England international holds it comfortably.

VAR


18 mins: Penalty? No says VAR!

 

First real involvement for the video referee system as the ball strikes the hand of Engels, but his arm was tucked into his body and the check is over with no further action warranted. 

 


15 mins: The visitors are playing some stuff that is very easy on the eye and City will need to be careful about how many men they commit going forward.


13 mins: Villa are nearly caught on the counter after countering themselves!

 

Trezeguet took too long in possession and the break is on. Sterling carries it forward down the left and a run from Silva takes the defender away. He gets a shot away but scuffs it, and Villa survive.


10 mins: The home side are beginning to dominate, especially in Villa’s final third, and it seems only a matter of when they will breach the Villa defence.


7 mins: The sight of Kevin De Bruyne on the floor will always be a concern for City, but the Belgian is back up after being caught accidentally by Douglas Luiz.

 


5 mins: Jesus should score!

 

It’s fine play from David Silva as he fools the defender and cuts it back to Gundogan. His shot deflects into the path of Jesus, whose snapshot goes just wide.


3 mins: Fairly even start to this match as Aston Villa try to get ball down and play.

 

But it’s City who get the first corner after good work from Mendy, and it comes to nothing as Mings clears Stones’ header at the far post.

KICK OFF


KICK-OFF!

 

We’re underway at the Etihad!

 

Graham Scott is today’s referee.


A minute’s applause for Eric Alexander, the former City chairman who died recently at the age of 86.

 


The teams are out on the pitch and it’s nearly a full house here at the Etihad.

 

Kick-off a few moments away.


It’s officially* winter…

 


Guardiola makes a point of mentioning Jack Grealish and he says he won’t underestimate Aston Villa. Speaking to BT Sport:

 

“It’s a newly promoted [team] and they start really well and earn a lot of points. Some tough decisions at the beginning with the referees so could have more points, and I think their qualities, the team spirit when I see the images, are high.”

 

“The movements, when they control the ball, and Jack Grealish. The qualities, they have especially upfront they have a lot of quality.”


Ederson made two vital saves in the City goal last time out against Crystal Palace.

 

Here’s the Brazilian being put through his paces as the teams warm up ahead of kick-off.

 

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Team news and lineups

Man City XI: Ederson, Joao Cancelo, Stones, Fernandinho, Mendy, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva, Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Sterling

Subs: Bravo, Walker, Aguero, Jose Angelino, Mahrez, Otamendi, Foden

Aston Villa XI: Heaton, Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Targett, Nakamba, Trezeguet, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Grealish, Wesley

Subs: Taylor, Lansbury, Steer, Hourihane, Konsa, El Ghazi, Davis

Referee: Graham Scott

Head to Head record (H2H)

This will be the 170th meeting between these two sides with City winning 71 of those.

Villa have 57 wins to their name – the last a 3-2 win at Villa Park in 2013.

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