Aston Villa vs Manchester City, live! How to watch, team news, TV, odds, prediction

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Aston Villa vs Manchester City is an intriguing clash on Wednesday (watch live 3:15 pm ET on Peacock Premium) as Steven Gerrard welcomes Pep Guardiola to Villa Park. 

STREAM LIVE ASTON VILLA v MANCHESTER CITY

Gerrard has won his first two Premier League games in charge of Villa, as they’ve surged away from the relegation zone with victories against Brighton and Crystal Palace. In both games Villa have looked much better defensively and the likes of Emiliano Martinez, John McGinn, Ashley Young, Ollie Watkins and Tyrone Mings have come up with big performances. Villa have the squad to be a top 10 team in the Premier League and Gerrard’s arrival seems to have instilled newfound levels of belief among the players, and fans. But this will be a huge test of Gerrard’s tactical acumen as red-hot City roll in to Villa Park.

Guardiola’s boys are clicking through the gears ominously and have won three on the trot in the Premier League and have lost just one of their last 12 league outings. An impressive UEFA Champions League victory over PSG was sandwiched in-between that, as City truly look back to their best. The only criticism of them is that they aren’t finishing off many of the golden chances they’re creating. But their play from back to front is dazzling as Bernardo Silva is running the show.

All eyes will be on Man City’s Jack Grealish, who is back from injury and could feature against Villa after he left his boyhood club for City in the summer for a British transfer record of $133.4 million.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Aston Villa vs Manchester City. 

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]


Aston Villa team news, injuries, lineup options

Bertrand Traore and Mohamed Trezeguet are still out long-term, with the latter stepping up his comeback as he will play in a reserve game next week. The big team news is that star striker Danny Ings is out as he’s suffered a ‘setback’ and he didn’t play at Crystal Palace at the weekend. Expect Young, Watkins and Bailey to start in attack.

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options

Kevin de Bruyne has returned a negative COVID-19 test but hasn’t trained so is working his way back. Jack Grealish and Phil Foden are both back in training after injury. Guardiola called City’s current situation ‘an emergency’ as they are missing Aymeric Laporte through suspension, plus Ferran Torres and Liam Delap are out injured. Benjamin Mendy remains suspended.


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Aston Villa are huge underdogs at +750 to win, while Manchester City are massive favorites to win at -304. The draw is +400.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.


Prediction

This seems like a game where Villa will use the optimism of Gerrard’s first few games, and wins, in charge and cause City problems. Guardiola’s side have injuries to contend with and this will be a tough test at a raucous Villa Park. Go for a draw. Aston Villa 1-1 Manchester City.


How to watch Aston Villa vs Manchester City live, stream and start time

Kick off: 3:15pm ET, Wednesday
TV Channel: Peacock Premium
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium


Christian Pulisic: Bought-in Chelsea knows it can compete for it all (video)

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Christian Pulisic admits he wasn’t a patient man during his long injury layoff, but refutes that there were any unusual setbacks and says he’s feeling “great” now.

“Obviously this injury was a tough one for me to get over,” Pulisic said (full video above). “I wouldn’t say there were real setbacks. There were times when I tried to come back and push it but it just wasn’t like I was back and reinjured it. I was just trying to manage what I can do based off the pain I felt.”

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Newcastle 1-1 Norwich ]

Pulisic has now played in five-straight matches for Chelsea after missing more than two months through injury and is excited to be back in matches for club and country.

The USMNT star was challenged during a 15-minute interview with the Premier League, asked about some unusually deep topics involving his athletic psyche.

Fortunately, he entertained the questions and gave some very decent answers.

Christian Pulisic after saying the Champions League win hasn’t completely sunk in:

“I don’t know how you would define sinking in but obviously when you think back to it it’s extremely special and proud but now it’s like you’re not really focused on it too much. It’s about winning it again this year. It’s just kinda something in the past.

“It’s kind of how it is, you have to have a short memory at times. Sometimes you want to hold onto things but you’ve got a game the next day.”

Christian Pulisic on Chelsea’s expectation that it can win every single match it plays.

“The way we go about it here is we understand the players we have and the way that we play and we know that if we put in a good performance and do things the way that we do, it’s going to be tough for an opponent. We know what we can do and how dangerous of a team we have.”

Christian Pulisic on the lack of egos at Chelsea:

“That’s another piece that makes this team really special. There are really not guys with egos who aren’t playing one week and throw a fit and are so upset. There are so many games and everyone has a place in this team and everyone is important. Of course there are moments, we always want to be on the field, so we push and fight as hard as we can to put ourselves in that position but at the same time it’s about training hard and getting ready for the next one.”

“Everyone wants to play but people are accepting and really just put their head down and work.”

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

Newcastle vs Norwich: How to watch, live stream, TV, team news, start time, odds, prediction

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Newcastle vs Norwich: As we near the halfway point of the 2021-22 Premier League season, Tuesday’s clash between the Magpies and Canaries at St. James’ Park (Watch live at 2:30 pm ET, on Peacock Premium) is set to be a massively important relegation six-points.

NEWCASTLE vs NORWICH STREAM LIVE

13 games into the season, and Newcastle are still looking for their first win. Steve Bruce failed in eight attempts, as did Graeme Jones in four tries as interim manager, followed by defeat in Eddie Howe’s debut. Sitting 20th out of 20 clubs, time is beginning to run out on Newcastle, who will need a sharp turnaround before it’s too late. Not only is morale set to be rock-bottom by the time the club’s new owners can begin signing players in January, but potential targets could also snub Newcastle if relegation is looking increasingly likely. Tuesday’s game could not be any more important for the Magpies.

Much of the same can be said for Norwich, who are suddenly unbeaten in three games (after picking up just two points from their first 10) as they start to climb their way toward the top of the relegation zone. Dean Smith’s Canaries sit 19th in the table, but they are now level on points with 18th-place Burnley and only three back of Leeds United just outside the drop zone. Since Smith arrived to replace Daniel Farke three weeks ago, Norwich have won one and drawn one while conceding just one goal, which stands in stark contrast to the 26 they allowed in the first 11 games.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Newcastle vs Norwich this Tuesday with team news, odds, stream link and more.


Newcastle team news, injuries, lineup (INJURY REPORT)

OUT: Jamaal Lascelles (suspension), Matt Ritchie (suspension), Paul Dummett (calf)

Norwich team news, injuries, lineup

OUT: Cristoph Zimmerman (ankle), Mathias Normann (pelvic), Sam Byram (fitness)


Odds and ends (full odds provided by our partner, PointsBet)

Newcastle (-115) | Norwich (+290) | Draw (+260)

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links


Prediction – Newcastle vs Norwich

Newcastle might have more talent up and down their squad, but they appear to have very little passion or desire to fight their way out of the situation they’re in. The opening 10 minutes will be very telling, as the atmosphere in St. James’ Park could quickly turn from supportive to frustrated if the on-field apathy doesn’t dissipate. Newcastle 1-2 Norwich.


How to watch Newcastle vs Norwich, stream live and start time

Kickoff: 2:30 pm ET Tuesday
Online: Stream via Peacock Premium

Ralf Rangnick named Manchester United interim boss

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Ralf Rangnick has been named as the interim manager at Manchester United, and will be in a consultancy role beyond that.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

The German coach, 63, was one of five candidates interviewed by United’s hierarchy for the interim position after they fired Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last week.

United confirmed that Rangnick is now their interim boss and Michael Carrick will “remain in charge of the first team until Ralf’s work visa is finalized” which will be after the home game against Arsenal on Thursday (watch live, 3:15pm ET on Peacock Premium).

With reports circling that Mauricio Pochettino, Erik ten Hag and Brendan Rodgers are all high on their wish-list when it comes to new permanent managers, Rangnick has been chosen as the man to steady the ship until the summer.

He will then stay at Old Trafford to act as an advisor for two years after his role as interim boss is over.

Confirmation arrives

“Manchester United is delighted to announce the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as interim manager until the end of the season, subject to work visa requirements. Following this period, Ralf and the club have agreed that he will continue in a consultancy role for a further two years.”

John Murtough, Manchester United football director, said: “Ralf is one of the most respected coaches and innovators in European football. He was our number one candidate for interim manager, reflecting the invaluable leadership and technical skills he will bring from almost four decades of experience in management and coaching.”

Rangnick added: “I am excited to be joining Manchester United and focused on making this a successful season for the club. The squad is full of talent and has a great balance of youth and experience. All my efforts for the next six months will be on helping these players fulfil their potential, both individually and, most importantly, as a team. Beyond that, I look forward to supporting the club’s longer-term goals on a consultancy basis.”

United sit 12 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea after their draw at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and Rangnick’s first job will be to push them towards the top four, as they currently sit five points behind fourth-place West Ham.

Who is Ralf Rangnick?

The veteran coach is renowned as the coach who inspired Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, Ralph Hasenhuttl, Julian Nagelsmann and many others for their coaching style.

Rangnick is considered to be the father of Gegenpressing and was heavily involved in leading RB Leipzig’s charge towards the top of the Bundesliga.

A defensive midfielder in his playing days, he has coached Stuttgart, Schalke (twice), Leipzig (twice), Hannover and Hoffenheim in Germany.

He joins United from Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow, where he led their vision as a club.

Is this a good fit?

Initially it looks a very good fit. Rangnick is experienced and will settle things down, and he will also start to put the building blocks in place for a new playing style at United.

His appointment as an interim coach would suggest that Erik ten Hag, Julian Nagelsmann or someone else could take charge in the summer. Pochettino’s philosophy isn’t exactly in line with Gegenpressing and he is unlikely to hand over a lot of the power to Rangnick.

Who knows, if Rangnick delivers success then perhaps he will stay on long-term as United’s head coach?

But it would seem that his future role as a consultant (probably as a sporting director) is a perfect fit.

United’s fans have been calling for a sporting director and this is a great opportunity to bring in Rangnick, one of the most respected project builders in the game.

He can oversee the current playing squad as interim boss over the next seven months and is then better qualified when he moves upstairs to help a new coach make big decisions about the future of the club.

Manchester United lineup under Rangnick: How Red Devils could look

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Ralf Rangnick will look to steady Manchester United’s ship when his work visa clears and he’s able to take the reins for a top-four Premier League push.

Given the talent at Old Trafford and the fixture list ahead, United should be favored to enter 2022 in a top-four position. United hosts Arsenal on Thursday before meeting Palace, Young Boys, Norwich City, Brentford, Brighton, Newcastle, and Burnley.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

And that matters in a big way as United attempts to lure a big name like Mauricio Pochettino or Erik ten Hag to the red side of Manchester for the 2022-23 season. After all, it would seem unlikely any top mind leaves a Champions League club for Europa League.

Rangnick has been far from a stickler to formation during stints at RB Leipzig, Schalke, and Hoffenheim, but it seems likely that his last run at Leipzig is the one to eye with expectation.

[ MORE: Messi, Putellas win Ballons d’Or ]

Leipzig opted for a 4-4-2 with a pair of holding midfielders in most of the big games down the stretch of the 2018-19 season, including Rangnick’s German Cup Final loss to Bayern (that featured USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams in one of the aforementioned mid roles).

But a 4-4-2 with a diamond was also a favorite of his, though he’s a chameleon and would deploy 3-5-2, 5-3-2, and 4-3-3 at times.

So, all that said, we’re predicting that the lineup Rangnick trots out most weeks will look like a 4-3-3 on paper. There will be plenty of demands for players to track back and make it look like a 4-5-1 at times.

So… how will Manchester United lineup under Ralf Rangnick?

Let’s assume that Raphael Varane is back to full health for this scenario.

No manager is going to roll into town and bench a man with five Ballons d’Or, so expect Cristiano Ronaldo to get every chance to thrive as a starter.

Ronaldo, it must be mentioned, has spent some time as a left wing in the Portugal team set-up over the past year and perhaps he could work in a two-man front line with Marcus Rashford on occasion.

This is where it gets sticky for Rangnick, who has no choice but to play Bruno Fernandes at attacking midfielder. Besides perhaps Varane, no single player has meant so much to United since Wayne Rooney post-Ronaldo.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s biggest failing was his inability to properly utilize Jadon Sancho and Donny van de Beek and it will be hard for those players and Ronaldo to all see the field (There’s Edinson Cavani, too. And Mason Greenwood. Good luck, Ralf).

Perhaps the biggest question mark is whether Rangnick, who loves a rampaging full back, will choose for Alex Telles over Luke Shaw or opt for safety given the attacking forces ahead of the backline.

Accounting for the returns of Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane in parentheses, here’s how Rangnick seems most likely to line United up (keeping in mind that there’s a role for Nemanja Matic in a Rangnick world).

De Gea

Wan-Bissaka — (Varane) Lindelof — Maguire — Shaw

(Pogba)  Van de Beek — McTominay

Sancho — Fernandes — Rashford

Ronaldo