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.
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.
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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.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) December 1, 2021
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.
Your City starting XI to take on Villa! 💪
XI | Ederson, Cancelo, Dias, Ake, Zinchenko, Fernandinho (C), Rodrigo, Bernardo, Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling
— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 1, 2021
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.
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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.