Manchester City vs Aston Villa Live SReddit core 1/12/2021
Two for two under the tutelage of Steven Gerrard, Aston Villa prepare to welcome Manchester City to Villa Park for Wednesday’s Premier League encounter. The hosts saw off the challenge of Crystal Palace 2-1 at the weekend, while the Citizens beat West Ham United by the same scoreline.
With Dean Smith continuing to produce the goods at Norwich City, the Englishman’s dismissal from Aston Villa may have been the best move for everyone involved, as Gerrard made it two for two against Palace on Saturday. Matt Targett broke the deadlock in the 15th minute following a corner, before John McGinn wrapped up the three points with a delightful finish from outside the area with four minutes remaining, and Marc Guehi’s consolation came too late for Palace to salvage a comeback.
Gerrard’s 100% start to life back in England sees Villa sit 13th in the Premier League table ahead of the midweek round of fixtures, with the West Midlands outfit one of three sides sitting on 16 points, and a top-half spot could be theirs for the taking if results go their way this week. The hosts welcome Man City to Villa Park having scored in all of their Premier League home games so far this term – winning three of them – and City can take nothing for granted as Gerrard aims to bring even more festive cheer to the Villa Park faithful.
Heavy snowfall from the devastating Storm Arwen saw the postponement of one Premier League game in Burnley vs. Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend, but Man City’s battle with West Ham went the distance in Arctic conditions as Pep Guardiola’s men ultimately prevailed.
Ilkay Gundogan drew first blood in the 33rd minute before turning provider for Fernandinho to wrap up the points in the dying embers of the encounter, with Manuel Lanzini scoring an eye-catching but otherwise inconsequential consolation right at the death. Victory over David Moyes’s side represented a fifth win on the bounce for City in all tournaments – four of which have come at the Etihad Stadium – and Chelsea’s draw with Manchester United means that the second-placed champions are now just one point off top spot.
The Citizens will therefore be praying for Watford to do them a favour during their derby with Chelsea, and Guardiola’s side travel to Villa Park having taken 13 points from the last 15 on offer away from home – scoring 10 goals and conceding just three in that span. Furthermore, City have claimed four victories from four against Villa since the hosts were promoted back to the top flight in 2019, and not since September 2013 have the West Midlands side prevailed in this fixture, winning 3-2 under Paul Lambert.
Villa continue to cope without long-term victim Trezeguet, who is close to making his comeback for the Under-23s, while Bertrand Traore is “some weeks” away from returning from a hamstring injury. Douglas Luiz had only been on the pitch seven minutes before seeing red against Palace, but VAR intervened and downgraded the midfielder’s card to a yellow, so he is fine to line up here.
Luiz could take the place of Marvelous Nakamba in the middle, and the need for fresh legs should also see Anwar El Ghazi reintroduced, but Danny Ings has suffered a setback in his return from a thigh problem. It would certainly be interesting to see what sort of reception Jack Grealish would receive on his return to Villa Park, but the attacker is still struggling with an injury and is a major doubt for this contest.
Kevin De Bruyne is not expected to return from coronavirus infection just yet, while a late call will have to be made on Phil Foden and Ferran Torres is definitely out with his foot fracture. John Stones is sure to return to the backline with Aymeric Laporte suspended for an accumulation of bookings, while Oleksandr Zinchenko could deputise at left-back or in midfield should Guardiola feel the need to rotate.
Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey; Buendia, Watkins, El Ghazi
Manchester City possible starting lineup:
Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko; Silva, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling
We say: Aston Villa 1-2 Manchester City
City may have produced a number of goal-laden performances against Villa down the years, but this will be no cakewalk for the champions as the Gerrard revolution aims to gather momentum.
Guardiola’s hand may be forced in a fatigued attack, but the visitors should still have enough to take all three points back to the Etihad.
NAME: Aston Villa – Manchester City
DATE: 1 Dec 2021
TIME: 20:15 UTC
VENUE: Villa Park, Birmingham, England