Manchester City form is 'frightening' admits Alex McLeish

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish admits Manchester City's early season form has been "frightening" - but insists there will be no fear factor when his side travel to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Like his counterpart Roberto Mancini, McLeish has led Villa to an unbeaten Barclays Premier League start and top scorer Gabriel Agbonlahor is set to boost the visitors by recovering from a back injury.

McLeish said: "City have had some quite frightening results since the start of the season. That can be intimidating for anyone looking on but we have started brightly and steadied the ship."

Agbonlahor was substituted during the win over Wigan two weeks ago due to his back injury but McLeish added: "We expect him, barring a nightmare in training, to be okay for the game at City."

Tim Cahill believes Everton are ready to bounce back from two consecutive defeats as they bid to continue their recent good record against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Toffees have only lost once in the last five visits and Cahill told evertonfc.com: "When we are up against it we always seem to shine a bit and try to fight out way out of a corner."

New boys Norwich and Swansea clash at Carrow Road and Canaries defender Russell Martin believes the two sides share a bond after last season's respective promotion campaigns.

Martin told Canaries Player: "Obviously we know them well from last year, so there's a little bit of rivalry there. We played against a lot of their players coming up the leagues, so they're similar to us in that sense."

QPR boss Neil Warnock admits his side need to return to the transfer market in January as his side seek to heap more misery on Blackburn boss Steve Kean at Loftus Road.

Rangers were thumped 6-0 by Fulham last time out and despite a busy buying spell in August Warnock said: "I think we've just got to get on until January and then try (to improve the squad)."

Martin Jol's Fulham travel to Stoke and Jol insists he is unconcerned at the appointment of Martin Atkinson to referee the game after the controversy of the Merseyside derby.

Jol said: "I think he is a good referee. I don't think you can say you have to be careful because a referee is giving red cards all the time. A mistake is a mistake but you have to control yourself."

Bolton boss Owen Coyle leads his side into a Lancashire derby against Bolton at the DW Stadium insisting his side's torrid start to the new season could soon be a thing of the past.

Both sides desperately need points as they start the game in the bottom three but Coyle said: "We have to recognise we have had a difficult start to the season in terms of the fixture list.

"But what we also know is that we can perform better, regardless of who we play, and that has to be the focus and motivation for the group of players - to show their quality."

PA

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