Manchester City vs Aston Villa: Preview and Prediction
Manchester City is just a win away from claiming their sixth Premier League title on Sunday when they will be turning up for their last fixture of the 2021-22 season. The Sky Blues will be hosting Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa side at Etihad Stadium in a Final Showdown as they could end up on the Champions podium after the final whistle.
The Blue boys from Manchester will be gracing the Premier League stage for the final time this season to successfully conclude their title hunt. Only one man is standing between Citizens and EPL glory and he is Aston Villa’s gaffer Steven Gerrard who is widely regarded as the greatest ever to don the Liverpool jersey. Gerrard will be accompanied by two former Reds, Phillippe Coutinho and Danny Ings in this mission to daunt the Sky Blue forces.
Aston Villa is currently seated in the 14th position of the Points Table after claiming 45 points from 37 games of the 2021-22 season. Irrespective of results, the Birmingham Lions can not go down from the current standing but can take a massive jump if they are able to breach the points from their counterparts.
The domination of Manchester City was at their peak and it seemed like the Citizens won’t be taking any halt before reaching their final destination. They turned up for an away fixture against West Ham United after scoring 4 or more goals in four consecutive EPL games but the Hammers held them for a draw at London Stadium. The Sky Blues equalised the scoreline after trailing by 0-2 at the half-time whistle but couldn’t get the winning goal despite keeping 79% possession throughout the play.
While the Birmingham-based club played their consecutive draw on the home turf inside the period of a week. Emiliano Buendia’s strike with the assistance of John McGinn equalled the scoreline in just the third minute of the second half although the Aston Lions could not score further. As the relegation battlers, Burnley’s determination forced them to share the match points despite the statistics and numbers game going in favour of the home side.
Head to Head Record
The two combatants share a huge history of clashing with each other at the English top division football over the years. From the 176 meetings between them, the Sky Blues are leading the head-to-head count with 78-57 in their favour while the fate of 41 encounters ended on a constant scoreline.
The Citizens are unbeaten against the Birmingham-based club since 2013 when the Blue half of Manchester was under the rule of Manuel Pellegrini.
Man City has recently turned on their beast mode against the Clarets and went on to score a whopping number of 19 goals from the last six encounters while conceding only three. A while ago, Manchester City orchestrated the famous 6-1 triumph at the Villa Park where Sergio Aguero registered his EPL career’s 12th and last hat-trick before hanging his boots.
In their previous face-off, the visitors from the City of Manchester took three valuable match points with them. Two first-half goals from Manchester’s two Portuguese starlets Ruben Dias (27′) and Bernardo Silva (43′) were enough to seal it for the Citizens. Ollie Watkins’ 47th-minute strike tried to revive the Claret & Blue Army’s position in the game but couldn’t take it further.
The presence of the Portuguese stalwart Ruben Dias in the central defense will be dearly missed by the Citizens as a huge fixture is lining up ahead. Pep Guardiola will surely have a check on the availability of John Stones otherwise Fernandinho will continue featuring in the City’s defensive wall. The announcement of Erling Haaland’s arrival has rang the buzzer for Jesus who might be playing his final game in the Sky Blue colours.
Phillippe Coutinho made a substitute appearance in the previous match and is likely to start for the Claret & Blue Army. While the experienced English striker Danny Ings will also be returning to the Starting Eleven along with him. Although Coutinho’s comeback may not be a concern for Emiliano Buendia who will continue as a playmaker while the Brazilian is likely to get a prominent role in the midfield.
Predicted Starting Lineups
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Joao Cancelo, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte, Oleksandr Zinchenko; Bernardo Silva, Rodri, Kevin de Bruyne; Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Phil Foden
Aston Villa (4-2-2-2): Emiliano Martinez; Matty Cash, Calum Chambers, Tyrone Mings, Lucas Digne; John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Phillippe Coutinho; Emiliano Buendia; Ollie Watkins, Danny Ings
Manchester City will take it all and won’t have to keep an eye on the Liverpool vs Wolves game if they successfully attain three points from this fixture. And if we look at the other possibility then they will have to hope for Liverpool’s draw or defeat if they drop the points against the Birmingham Lions. Although the odds are highly favouring the possibility that there will be a celebration ceremony at Etihad Stadium after this encounter where the Sky Blues will be gracing the podium with a tag of Champions.