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How City perform after international breaks

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After a week away from the Etihad Stadium, Roberto Mancini’s men have returned from international duty ahead of this weekend’s meeting with Aston Villa.

It’s fair to say that City are in control of their own fortunes these days, but being the superstitious lot that we are, we couldn’t help but take a look at how the Blues have fared recently following the international breaks.

You’ll be glad to know it makes for good reading!

Just once in the past 12 months have Mancini’s side been beaten after travelling far and wide for their respective national sides.

Unfortunately, that defeat came at Old Trafford last February when Wayne Rooney scored to cancel  David Silva’s goal and condemn City to defeat.

Derby day disappointment aside, the Blues have a fantastic record that stretches back to England’s first Group G meeting with Montenegro.

While the Three Lions were left to settle for a goalless draw last October, City came away from Blackpool’s Bloomfield Road with all three points following an entertaining 3-2 win over the Tangerines.

Coming off the bench, Silva’s magician-type abilities turned the game on its head as he set up Carlos Tevez’s opener and cut through the Blackpool defence to score one of his own - his first City goal.

Since then, the Blues have followed up the breaks with three high-scoring affairs. At the close of the 2010 international season, Mancini’s side put in one of their most impressive performances of the campaign against Fulham.

Four goals up before the hour-mark and with a rare appearance on the score-sheet for Pablo Zabaleta, City didn’t take long to blow off the cobwebs in a 4-1 thrashing of the West London side.

Zabba Celebrates Fulham

That was nothing compared to the 5-0 drubbing the Blues handed out to Sunderland when they visited the Etihad Stadium in March of this year. Five different Blues got their names on the score-sheet that day in a dominant display by City.

Yet it took just one man to steal the headlines following the most recent international break back in September.

The day belonged to Sergio Aguero who scored his first hat-trick for the club as Wigan sank to a 3-0 defeat.No matter what the result, visiting Villa will have to be extra wary of City’s Spanish star Silva.

The playmaker has scored three goals in five games following international breaks since his move to City and he warmed up with two for the World Champions in mid-week!

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