Manchester City fans will be able to focus on the football again on Sunday after a rocky week off the pitch
City’s predicted line-up to face Aston Villa (Image: Getty Images/Pick the Team)
Manchester City supporters will be grateful to see the football take centre stage on Sunday after a turbulent few days off the pitch.
Charges put against City by the Premier League this week quickly overshadowed the disappointing defeat at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. Had the Blues won in north London they would have cut the gap to five points between themselves and Arsenal at the top of the table.
Instead, City could be sitting 11 points adrift of the Gunners by the time they kick off at 4:30pm against Aston Villa. The last time City faced Villa at the Etihad Stadium was the final match of the 2021/22 season which saw the Blues come from 2-0 down to win 3-2.
Another thrilling match like that would at least brighten an otherwise gloomy week. With that in mind, here is how MEN Sport see the Blues lining up against Unai Emery’s men this weekend.
Goalkeeper – Ederson
Ederson will keep his place in goal to face Villa. He is comfortably the Blues’ first choice and only injury will prevent him from starting on Sunday afternoon.
Defenders – Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake
Guardiola will be looking for a reaction from his players and after the week they have just had, the Catalan boss will be needing his senior players more than ever. Manuel Akanji and Rico Lewis have not done anything wrong but with a big clash against Arsenal on the horizon, it would not hurt to rotate.
Ake moving back to left-back will hopefully see him put in a similar performance to that which we have come to expect in his newly-discovered role.
Midfielders – Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gundogan
Rodri was by no means at his sharpest on Sunday but with defensive midfield options thin on the ground, he is likely to keep his place. De Bruyne was a surprise absence from the team picked last weekend and surely he will not be dropped again.
Gundogan has fond memories of this fixture, as does his Spanish teammate behind him, and he will be hoping to recreate a similar impression on Sunday.
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Forwards – Riyad Mahrez, Erling Haaland, Jack Grealish
One of the biggest tasks for Villa will surely be to stop Grealish. City’s £100million man is finely showing the consistency we were expecting when he made the switch from the West Midlands and is now almost undroppable.
Haaland will be in the mood to prove a certain critic wrong this weekend after claims that he chose the wrong club last summer. City’s top goalscorer will be itching to fire the Blues back to winning ways at the Etihad.
Manchester City’s predicted line-up to face Aston Villa