It's always difficult to better a result like a 4-1 win in the Manchester Derby against your title rivals Manchester United. So, Manuel Pellegrini will be quite happy if his Manchester City side continue their good form against Aston Villa in the English Premier League, by picking up three points irrespective of the manner of the victory.
Manchester City playmaker Samir Nasri celebrates after scoring against Manchester United in their English Premier League game, September 22
A let down after the incredible high of last Sunday was avoided when City cruised past their F.A. Cup final conquerors Wigan in the Capital One Cup third round on Tuesday.
However, that was just a cup match - to show that City really mean business and have found their feet under Pellegrini, consistency is the key; and if they struggle against Villa, like they have with some of the other teams earlier this season, then it will be back to square one again.
On paper, of course, it does not look like there will be any other winner but City, even if the Premier League game is being played at Villa Park.
As they showed against United, when this City side are on form, they are near unstoppable - with the power and pace of their midfield and wide players, allowing the likes of Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko to put their shooting boots into good use.
"Every team that wants to win something must demonstrate every week the intensity, quality and spirit that we have in this team," Pellegrini said referring to the need for consistency.
"If you think that just with quality you are going to win, then I think you are making a great mistake. I hope that the team will continue trying to win every game that we play.
"I always hear that the Premier League is very, very similar -- all the teams are not much different as maybe they are in other leagues -- so we try to win every game. But it is not easy. We are not going to win by four or five goals every game."
Villa have had a pretty difficult set of fixtures in the opening games, having already faced Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool in the league. They have picked up six points from their first five matches, but have not quite hit their form yet.
Against City, manager Paul Lambert will hope the pace that his side have on the wings will come into play. However, if City attack with the verve and vision of the Manchester Derby, then we could be in for a hiding.
Team News: Villa will be without their talisman Christian Benteke, who has been ruled out for six weeks with a hip flexor injury. Libor Kozak, who came in for the Belgian in the previous game in the Premier League, before scoring the equaliser, is again expected to deputise.
Charles N'Zogbia and Jores Okore are also ruled out for Villa, who will look to bounce back from the 4-0 thumping handed by Tottenham in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.
City also have their injury problems with Sergio Aguero ruled out for Saturday's game. The Argentine, who scored a brilliant brace against United, suffered a knock in the Manchester Derby and will not be risked with the Champions League humdinger against Bayern Munich looming large.
The game also comes too soon for David Silva, but Micah Richards and Gael Clichy make a return.
Key Men: Aston Villa: Gabriel Agbonlahor has been in good form this season, and will provide a test for City right-back Pablo Zabaleta. The winner of that battle will go a long way in deciding just how comfortable an outing it is for City's central defenders.
Manchester City: Samir Nasri had a great game against United, and Pellegrini has urged the former Arsenal playmaker to continue his good form. When Nasri is in the mood, there are few better players in the Premier League.
"In this moment, Nasri is playing very, very well and I also talk often with him because I know how much he can do as a big player," Pellegrini said.
"His performance I am evaluating and he knows that he must play the way that I know he can do it. If he doesn't do it, well then maybe we have another choice."
Where to watch
The match is scheduled for a 7.30 p.m. (IST) start with it telecast live on ESPN. You can also watch the match live online by clicking the official link HERE.
Expected lineups: Aston Villa: Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Luna; Bacuna, El Ahmadi, Delph; Weimann, Kozak, Agbonlahor.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov; Toure, Fernandinho; Navas, Dzeko, Nasri; Negredo.
Prediction: 2-0 to City
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