Manchester City v Aston Villa- Preview

Last updated : 02 March 2011 By DSG

Manchester City duo David Silva and Micah Richards could return to the side on Wednesday when they face Aston Villa in the FA Cup at Eastlands.

Silva missed the draw with Fulham because of an ankle injury while Richards was absent with a calf problem.

However, manager Roberto Mancini will again be without Vincent Kompany (hip), Nigel de Jong (ankle), Adam Johnson (ankle) and goalkeeper Shay Given (shoulder).


Mancini has reiterated his desire to end 35 years of hurt and deliver a trophy to City.

The Italian believes if they can succeed this season it will have a snowball effect.

City face Villa then Dynamo Kiev in the first leg of their Europa League last-16 tie next week in Ukraine.

Mancini is fully aware of the history of the club and the fact they last won a major trophy on February 28, 1976 when Newcastle were defeated 2-1 in the League Cup final.

He said: "We have a big chance of winning something. The next 20 days are very important because we play against Aston Villa then the following week in the Europa League.

"We have two options. If we win one trophy it will lead to more trophies. This is important for our team. When I accepted this job I knew it was difficult but it is a big challenge and I believe we can win a trophy."

City go into the the Villa game following a lacklustre 1-1 home draw with Fulham on Sunday.

Mancini believes his players are feeling the effects of a tough fixture schedule at home and abroad.

But Mancini said: "It is better we have all these games because it means we are still involved in every competition. Everything is important for us.

"But our problem is having players injured. When you play every three days you cannot work, only recover with perhaps a light session. Is it difficult motivating the players? We are tired here (in our heads) because when you play every three days and use the same players it is very difficult. This is a big problem but only this."

Villa full-back Nathan Baker has been ruled out of the clash at Eastlands.

The 19-year-old is still suffering from concussion after a collision with Blackburn goalkeeper Paul Robinson on Saturday.

Fabian Delph, who replaced Baker, may again deputise as Ciaran Clark will be required to play at centre-back with Carlos Cuellar (hamstring) and James Collins (calf) still ruled out.

Midfielder Jean Makoun is again suspended after his red card against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.

Villa manager Gerard Houllier admits part of his remit is to help find a "better balance" between the club's hefty wage bill and the turnover of the club.

Villa are targeting "managing" escalating wages while remaining competitive on the pitch after suffering losses of more than £37million for the year ending May 31, 2010.

The midlands club saw wages increase to almost £80million last season - an increase of £9million and they now account for 88% of the club's £90million turnover.

But Villa are confident they will comply with UEFA's 'financial fair play' regulations by the time they are fully in force by the beginning of the 2013-2014 campaign.

They relate to clubs living within their means, something Villa insist they are striving to achieve despite the backing of American owner Randy Lerner who has invested more than £200million.

Houllier said: "First of all, it (the money he has put in) shows how much Randy cares for the club.

"He didn't come here just to try to borrow money and do things. He put in money himself. The club has grown and is now the 20th club in Europe in terms of earning power.

"We probably need at the same stage to have a better balance between the salary (wage bill) and the turnover of the club. This is also part of my mission. It won't be done overnight, it will be done gradually and we've got a great academy as well.

"We want to maximise the potential of our academy and the facilities here are made for players to grow and improve."

Sources close to Villa point to the considerable initial financial outlay Lerner had to make when taking charge of Villa four and a half years ago, including a totally redeveloped training ground at Bodymoor Heath.

But a big focus for the forthcoming years is to harness staying a force on the field in the Barclays Premier League whilst having a club which can stand on its own two feet.

The aim is not to reduce the number of quality players at Houllier's disposal but to ensure there is no excess baggage in terms of having players on sizeable wages who make little meaningful contribution.

Source: DSG

Source: DSG