HomeFootball NewsManchester City vs Aston Villa: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and...

Manchester City vs Aston Villa: Preview, expected line-ups, how to watch and prediction

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The State of Play

It is now 18 Premier League matches since Manchester City defeated their opposition by more than two goals, which is quite unusual for last season’s treble winners. They come into this one on the back of sharing a goalless draw with fellow title challengers Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium at the weekend and are under a bit of pressure as they welcome Aston Villa to east Manchester this week.

Unai Emery’s Aston Villa pulled off a fine, detailed game plan in the reverse fixture between these two sides as they defeated Manchester City by a goal to nil at Villa Park in early December. The Villains earned a much-needed but comfortable 2-0 defeat of midlands rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers at the weekend to ensure they remain just about tucked inside the top four ahead of this round of fixtures.

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Team News

Manchester City defender Nathan Ake was forced off through injury in their clash with Arsenal at the weekend and he has joined Ederson and Kyle Walker in being absent for this one. England defender John Stones has been described as a ‘maybe’.

Aston Villa were dealt a major blow on Tuesday with Unai Emery confirming that key forward Ollie Watkins is unavailable for this week. His compatriot, Jacob Ramsey, is also missing through injury.

Expected Line-ups

Manchester City: Ortega; Lewis, Akanji, Dias, Gvardiol; Rodri, Silva; Foden, De Bruyne, Grealish; Haaland

Aston Villa: Martinez; Konsa, Carlos, Torres, Digne; Douglas Luiz, Tielemans; Bailey, Rogers; Jhon Duran, Diaby

What they Said

Pep Guardiola grabbed the headlines on Tuesday when he used his usual sarcasm to dismiss a question about his cajoling of Jack Grealish after the game on Sunday; saying he does it for his ‘own ego’ with tongue firmly in cheek.

Unai Emery was full of praise for his opposite number in his pre-match press conference, describing the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss as the ‘best coach’ in the world.

When and How to Watch

This match will be played at the Etihad Stadium at 19:30 on Wednesday April 3rd and will be shown live on TNT Sports in the UK. It will also be able to be streamed live via the TNT Sports app.

Prediction

As mentioned, Manchester City have not been as ruthless or as dominant as is often expected of them. They have been grinding out performances and victories, though, like the winning machine that they have become. They now face an Aston Villa side that will be meticulous in their planning bit perhaps lack much of a cutting edge to really hurt the hosts. Another City win, albeit not overly convincingly, is to be expected.

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