Joleon Lescott believes City have to start winning on the road on a regular basis if the Blues are to have any chance of winning the title.
Just two wins in nine away games in all competitions is not the form of champions and Lescott says it’s time to string a winning run together to marry up with City’s imperious home form.
“We didn’t have a great January, but results-wise in the league we didn’t do too badly," he said.
“Villa will be tough, we know that, but we need to get our away form back on track as quickly as possible.
“We lost at Everton in our last away game, but despite their position in the league, Goodison Park is still one of the toughest away grounds you can play at.
“It was important we bounced back against Fulham, but we need to prove we’re not just a team who win all our home games by picking up three points on Sunday.
Lescott also revealed he has an emotional attachment to Villa, his boyhood idols.
“It’s always special for me going to Villa Park because they are the club I supported as a lad and the first real reason I started paying attention to football,” he said.
“It won’t overwhelm me or anything because obviously I was at Wolves and I couldn’t really be seen supporting Villa while I was playing for one of their rivals!
The banter with Villa fans has always been quite friendly and it’s a game I always look forward to
He is also likely to come up against England team-mate and Villa top scorer Darren Bent, who scored the winning goal against the Blues on two occasions last season for Sunderland and Villa.
“I’m not sure what my record is against Darren Bent,” he smiled. “I’ve been playing against him for a long time now, stretching back to the days when he was at Ipswich and I was with Wolves.
“We’ve had a few good battles and he’s got a few against us in recent seasons so we know he’s a threat and a great player.
“It will be a tough test, but we’re confident.”