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Preview: Aston Villa clash with Manchester City in Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round

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Villa are on a rise, will Manchester City put a stop to that?

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Aston Villa. Five games without a loss.

You've not heard that in a while.

Despite their (actually, the FA's) failure in the transfer window so far, Aston Villa have impressed on the pitch in recent weeks and were only two penalties away from four more points. Villa will now welcome Manchester City to Birmingham and try to capitalise on their recent performances.

Make no mistake, a win against the Manchester high-flyers is just as important as a league win. There can be no more bad performances from Remi Garde's squad as they look to build up a mountain of confidence.

What to know about Aston Villa

No signings, no Hutton, no Gestede, no Adama and no Gabby. Aston Villa's squad seems to be on its last legs and one more injury may damn this team to the Football League. Still, there's no excuse to play a weakened side as Villa's first team is still gelling. More games for the first XI means more chemistry.

That being said Remi Garde has been a success at Villa so far and has cut ties with those who won't fight for the cause. It's a clichè for sure, but Remi's French Revolution is rooted in 'no-nonsense' football. That will only help Villa in the future with a realist in charge.

It might be a way off - but success in the FA Cup will mean so much to the fans of Aston Villa, especially with the enormous likelihood of relegation looming.

What to know about Man City.

Manchester City's 'defensive weakness' is boosted by their huge stable of attacking talent. Aguero, Silva, Navas and Sterling will fit into any team in the world. Kevin de Bruyne will be missing with a terrible injury, but don't mistake that as a blessing - Manchester City are truly a 'next man up' type of team. The League Cup finalists are still in with a shot and will want to win every competition they are in with a chance of claiming this year. Treble, anyone?

What to know about Fabian Delph

"Rattlesnakes are a group of venomous snakes of the genera Crotalus and Sistrurus of the subfamily Crotalinae ("pit vipers"). The 36 known species of rattlesnakes have between 65 and 70 subspecies, all native to the Americas, ranging from southern Alberta and southern British Columbia in Canada to Central Argentina. Rattlesnakes are predators that live in a wide array of habitats, hunting small animals such as birds and rodents. The threat of envenomation, advertised by the loud shaking of the titular noisemaker ("rattle") at the end of their tails, deters many predators. However, rattlesnakes fall prey to hawks, weasels, king snakes, and a variety of other species. Rattlesnakes are heavily preyed upon as neonates, while they are still weak and mentally immature. Large numbers of rattlesnakes are killed by humans. Rattlesnake populations in many areas are severely threatened by habitat destruction, poaching, and extermination campaigns.Rattlesnake bites are the leading cause of snakebite injuries in North America. However, rattlesnakes rarely bite unless provoked or threatened; if treated promptly, the bites are rarely fatal."

The prediction

1-1:I think this will go to a replay, Aston Villa are tricky enough to 'win' penalties, but haven't been awarded them and that may change. Look out for key performances from Fabian Delph and Micah Richards.