Manchester City vs Aston Villa preview: Defensive duo return to training to give Blues lift

By Ric Turner, Fri 20 May 2022 15:50

Manchester City vs Aston Villa preview: Defensive duo return to training to give Blues liftKyle Walker and John Stones could be available for City's title decider against Villa

Manchester City vs Aston Villa

Competition: F.A. Premier League

Date: 4.00pm, Sunday 22nd May 2022

Venue: Etihad Stadium, Manchester

Referee: Michael Oliver Assistants: S Burt, S Bennett Fourth Official: D Coote VAR: D England

Odds: City 1/7, Draw 13/2, Aston Villa 16/1

Tickets: Sold out

TV: Sky Sports

Manchester City

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Squad (from): Ederson, Steffen, Carson, Walker, Stones, Ake, Zinchenko, Laporte, Cancelo, Gundogan, Grealish, Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva, Fernandinho, Foden, Palmer, McAtee, Sterling, Jesus, Mahrez

Injured: Dias

Doubtful: Walker, Stones

Suspended: Mendy

Form guide: WLWWD

Aston Villa

Manager: Steven Gerrard

Squad (from): Martinez, Olsen, Sinisalo, Cash, Mings, Chambers, Young, Digne, Luiz, McGinn, Sanson, Buendia, Nakamba, Coutinho, Chukwuemeka, Bogarde, Ramsey, Watkins, Traore, Ings, Bailey

Injured: Konsa, Hause

Doubtful: Bailey

Suspended: None

Form guide: WWLDD

Kyle Walker and John Stones have returned to training, and could come into consideration for Sunday's title-decider against Villa. The pair had previously been ruled out for the season by manager Pep Guardiola, but their return would give the Blues a much-needed lift ahead of the final game of the season. The manager was full of praise for his backroom staff who have facilitated their recovery.

“We have incredible doctors and physios,” said Guardiola.

“They have trained today. We will see tomorrow. It is good for us to have them back.”

A win against Villa would secure City's fourth title in five seasons, and Guardiola said it was the trophy that meant the most to him.

"It is more difficult (to win the Premier League)," said Pep.

"There are lots of weeks, games, struggles with injuries and bad moments, tough opponents.

"The success is being there all the time in the last five years except the year when Liverpool were unstoppable.

"It’s every day, when you fight the Premier League and fight until the end, it gives you happiness.

"You are happier when you win and you win. It’s not a cup, it’s a routine.

"Doing a routine is most difficult in our lives. If you are not happy, you want these great experiences. Premier League is routine."

City drew their last home game against Villa 2-1, with Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan netting for the Blues. Overall City have won 78 of the 176 games played against the Villains, with 41 draws and 57 defeats.

Predicted line-up: Ederson, Walker, Ake, Laporte, Cancelo, Rodri, Silva, De Bruyne, Foden, Sterling, Jesus

Score prediction: City 3 Aston Villa 1