Aston Villa at Manchester City: An optimistic prediction

Manchester City is a test. You could say it is the first real test for this manager, although you could easily argue that every game in the Premier League is a test. It depends on how you want to look at it.

Some people think some games are easier than others though and when looking at matches, we make predictions. Do you remember the predictions you made when you saw the fixture list? I remember mine and I have a very mathematical one for Saturday too.

My prediction for Saturday is an optimistic one too. It has to be considered an optimistic one because when you look at the table, it is going to take something special to win. So, I'm not predicting three points.

Prediction time

No, instead of a win, which is possible, I'm predicting a draw. You see, Alex McLeish knows how to get his players up for a match. He knows how to make them run and fight for every ball and it is a valuable attribute. It might not be enough against a team like Manchester City and that is why this match could be considered the first real test, because I think it fair to assume one thing - we're not going to attack them for ninety minutes.

Don't get me wrong, we'll have a go, but it isn't as if we are going to be passing the ball around them and creating opportunities every three or four minutes. We will play a very focused counter attacking game and away from home, against any team in the upper half of the table, it is to be expected.

But, only one result can foster admiration for McLeish on Saturday and that is three points, but when you look at the odds below, you'll see that the bookmakers don't hold out much hope for that happening.

If we draw, the pundits will write about our resilience and work rate and if we lose, the pundits will write about how we don't have the quality or that Manchester City just have too much of it. There will be the odd mention of our tactics and how we went out to play, but nobody will criticise it or suggest it could have been done differently or better.

Which is why, it is the result that matters and why the result is the most important thing. I'll take a 1-0 win every week. It suggests we defend well and we take our chances. I don't mind one shot on target as long as we score it. The thing is, with the first real test of the season coming up, we are going to find out on Saturday what this manager is all about.

So my optimistic prediction is a point and I think we will score - possibly more than one. I can not see us winning, but I doubt many will and while the bookmakers below think we will lose, football is a funny game and and a match only lasts for 90 minutes - anything is possible.


Predictions below please

If you get a moment - your prediction below. I'm thinking about placing a bet on Barry to get sent off and no, I don't know anything.