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KDB Dropped? 4-1-4-1 Manchester City Predicted XI vs Aston Villa

Manchester City were dealt a huge blow in the pursuit of their fourth consecutive Premier League title on Sunday, as they stumbled to a 0-0 snooze fest against an ultra-defensive Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta had seemingly decided a point would be good enough at the Etihad and in that sense, the Gunners emerged the happier of the two sides from the much anticipated contest.

Truth be told, the Sky Blues have been nowhere near the levels we have come to expect of them and this campaign could well turn out to be one where they hit the refresh button after an exhilarating treble win the previous season. In that regard, Pep could consider his side a bit fortunate they are ‘just’ 3 points off the summit with 9 games to go and are still fighting on 3 fronts with mouth-watering and difficult clashes against Real Madrid and Chelsea coming up in the Champions League and FA Cup respectively.

Next up for City are Aston Villa, a fixture which will present the defending Champions a tricky but pleasant opportunity to bounce back after the underwhelming last couple of games.


  • Manchester City have scored at least 2 goals in their last 14 home matches against Aston Villa in all competitions
  • Manchester City have won their last 8 home matches against Aston Villa in all competitions
  • Manchester City have seen over 2.5 goals in 12 of their last 13 home matches against Aston Villa in all competitions


Nathan Ake went off injured against Arsenal is set to miss a number of matches according to Pep Guardiola. He joins Kyle Walker and Ederson on the treatment table which is getting crowded now.

John Stones, however, made the bench and might come into contention to start over the next week.



Stefan Ortega will continue deputising for Ederson and he will look to make it back-to-back clean sheets against the Villans.

Rico Lewis could be handed a start in the Man City lineup at right-back which means Manuel Akanji and Ruben Dias will be the centre-back pairing.

Josko Gvardiol is likely to continue at left-back.


Rodri will be at the epicentre of the Man City lineup and will dictate play from the holding midfield position.

We are predicting a major shuffle in the advanced midfield areas with Kevin de Bruyne possibly starting the match from the bench. He has recently returned from a long-term injury and hasn’t looked at his best. He could be brought off the bench having played the full 90 minutes against Arsenal. With huge games coming up in the Champions League and a busy schedule in the offing, this might well be an eventuality.

Bernardo Silva could move into the central areas partnering with Mateo Kovacic in the Man City lineup.


City have lacked control in the attacking areas in recent games and the spark they hoped Doku and Foden would provide with regularity has been missing. This calls for the inclusion of Jack Grealish on the left-wing and going back to having the ball in the final third and trying to create an opening over a period of time.

Phil Foden in that case could be moved to the right-wing in the Man City lineup.

Erling Haaland has looked a pale shadow of his monstrous self from last season. His goals tally might be handsome but anyone watching his gameplay can recognize the obvious flaws hindering his impact at the club. Pep will be anxious and eager for his star performer to do exactly what he was brought in to do- perform.

Craig Kester

Freelance Football journalist trying to to make a living by covering the beautiful game.

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