The Villans’ two-game winning run in the Premier League came to an end on Sunday following a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium. Despite dropping points, they sit just one point behind Man City in fourth spot.
After failing to close the gap on league leaders Arsenal, Unai Emery will expect a better performance from his boys against Pep Guardiola’s City, who were held to a riveting 3-3 draw by Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Aston Villa Team News
Ollie Watkins gave Aston Villa a boost by passing a late fitness test against Bournemouth after the striker was absent for the win over Legia Warsaw in the Europa Conference League on Thursday due to a small knock in training.
Boubacar Kamara served a one-game suspension at the weekend after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season in Villa’s 2-1 win over Tottenham, so he is available for City’s visit in midweek but the likes of Bertrand Traore, Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings will miss out again.
Emiliano Martinez is their undisputed No.1 and should start against Man City in the Aston Villa lineup. He is likely to need to produce his best performance to keep a clean sheet in midweek.
Due to a quick turnaround time between games, Unai Emery could make a few alterations to keep his squad fit and firing during this busy period. The Villa backline, however, should stay the same, meaning Pau Torres, Diego Carlos and Ezri Konsa are all expected to start in the Aston Villa lineup.
The three-man defence have to stay disciplined and compact throughout the game to keep a clean sheet against a potent Man City attack.
Matty Cash came off the bench in the second half against Bournemouth but could find himself in the Aston Villa lineup in midweek.
Operating as the wing-backs, Cash and Lucas Digne will be required to bomb up and down to offer energy, width and potentially deliver high-quality crosses into the box.
In midfield, Youri Tielemans might make way for Boubacar Kamara, who served a one-game suspension in the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth.
The Frenchman is likely to be joined by John McGinn and Douglas Luiz in Villa’s engine room. Kamara will operate as the deepest midfielder, looking to initiate his side’s build-up play and circulate the ball around the park.
Up ahead in attack, Emery could hand Moussa Diaby a start ahead of Nicolo Zaniolo, who put in an underwhelming display against Bournemouth and was hooked off at half time. With his pace, movement and flair, Diaby will look to stretch the City defence and cause all kinds of problems.
The Frenchman will form a two-pronged attack with Ollie Watkins in the Aston Villa lineup. Watkins scored a fine header in stoppage time to earn Villa a draw at Bournemouth.
Leon Bailey, Jacob Ramsey and Zaniolo could be brought on in the latter stages of the game if required.
Fulham will aim to bounce back to winning ways in the Premier League on Saturday…
Crystal Palace will look to snap their three-game winless run in the Premier League on…
Manchester United have reportedly made AC Milan’s Tijjani Reijnders a potential transfer option to bolster…
Chelsea are reportedly eyeing Bologna striker Joshua Zirkzee as an option to bolster their attack…
Ending their seven-year absence from the Champions League knockout stages, Arsenal travel to Portugal for…