An early Christmas cracker could be in store when Manchester City visit Aston Villa in the Premier League on Wednesday night.
Imperious on home soil and seeking to claim a Champions League berth next season, Villa have won 13 league games on the spin at Villa Park. They’re hoping to make the vulnerable treble-winners their next victims.
Three consecutive draws have seen City relinquish top spot to Arsenal and they could find themselves six points adrift at the summit by the time they kick-off on Wednesday night. Pep Guardiola’s side are yet to find their imperious groove this term, especially as of late, and few fixtures currently come tougher than a trip to Unai Emery’s fortress.
Here’s 90min’s preview of Villa’s clash against the champions.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City H2H Record (Last Five Games)
Current form (all competitions)
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Emery shuffled his pack somewhat at Bournemouth on Sunday. Matty Cash and Moussa Diaby should return to the starting lineup, likely for Diego Carlos and Nicolo Zaniolo, while Boubacar Kamara is available again after suspension.
There are no fresh injury concerns for Villa with Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings long-term absentees. Bertrand Traore is unlikely to feature.
Aston Villa predicted lineup vs Manchester City
Villa predicted lineup vs Man City (4-2-2-2):Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne; Kamara, Luiz; McGinn, Bailey; Diaby, Watkins.
Guardiola must be desperate for Kevin De Bruyne’s return, but the Belgian isn’t expected to make his comeback until the start of 2024.
The Spaniard should, however, give John Stones a start on Wednesday night following another injury layoff. While Mateo Kovacic is available, Stones could join fellow centre-back Manuel Akanji in the midfield pivot with the Croatia international utilised higher up the pitch.
Both Rodri and Jack Grealish are suspended, while Jeremy Doku is an injury doubt after limping off against Tottenham.
Manchester City predicted lineup vs Aston Villa
Man City predicted lineup vs Villa (3-2-4-1): Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake; Stones, Akanji; Bernardo, Alvarez, Kovacic, Foden; Haaland.
With City faltering and Villa boasting a quite incredible home record, the signs are pointing towards a statement victory by the hosts. However, you simply cannot write off the champions.
The visitors are without key stabiliser Rodri, but Guardiola could find an alternate route to stability in Stones. The Spaniard’s outfit haven’t been the control freaks they are at their apex in recent outings and they might have to bore Villa to death to gain a foothold in midweek.
Given their recent malaise, Guardiola will be content with a point at Villa Park.
Prediction: Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester City
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Source : 90min.com