It’s top against bottom as Manchester City looks to put the pressure on Arsenal atop the Premier League table when they travel to Villa Park to face the Claret & Blue of Aston Villa live on NBCSN at 8:30 a.m. ET or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
There’s no chance for new Villa manager Remi Garde to get his feet wet, diving straight into action against the team atop the Premier League table.
Garde, in charge of his first game for the home side, has made a whopping six changes to the starting lineup. With Gabriel Agbonlahor is not available after suffering a calf issue last Monday, Garde has brought in Jordan Ayew to start up front for the home side, leaving Rudy Gestede to bench duties. He has also brought in former Manchester City defender Micah Richards, plus 22-year-old Frenchman Jordan Veretout in central midfield.
Garde has his work cut out for him, with Villa sitting bottom of the table on just four points from their first 11 matches of the season. They are six points from safety, and a whopping 12 off the top half already.
For Manchester City, it’s the opposite. Pellegrini is top of the table, level with Arsenal on 25 points and holding a 4-goal differential advantage. With the Gunners in derby action today, it could leave City with a great opportunity to claim the top spot outright.
City’s striker problems continue as Sergio Aguero remains out, leaving Wilfried Bony to start up front. Kevin De Bruyne is back in the starting lineup after being rested in the 3-1 Champions League win over Sevilla midweek, while David Silva is close to returning but does not make this squad.
Aston Villa: Guzan; Hutton, Richards, Clark, Amavi; Veretout, Gana, Sanchez; Gil, Sinclair, Ayew.
Subs: Bunn, Bacuna, Lescott, Richardson, N’Zogbia, Gestede, Grealish.