Manchester City were unable to open up a six-point gap at the top of the table last weekend, as they settled for a point at the London Stadium, despite Riyad Mahrez having the chance to win the match from the penalty spot in the 85th minute .
Pep Guardiola’s side came from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with West Ham last Sunday, with the gained point ensuring that Manchester City will head into the final day of the season needing a win to guarantee the Premier League trophy.
An Aston Villa side galvanised by Liverpool links are the Blues’ opponents this weekend, as Steven Gerrard’s squad look to cause an upset at the Etihad Stadium and end Manchester City’s hopes of winning any silverware this season.
City, who are looking to win their fourth Premier League title in five years, are set to face an Aston Villa side which includes players such Philippe Coutinho and Danny Ings at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The Blues have been crippled by defensive injuries in recent weeks, though Pep Guardiola has been handed a significant boost prior to Sunday afternoon’s crunch clash.
Ahead of this weekend’s Premier League title decider, here is how we think Manchester City will set-up for the gigantic final match of the season against Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.
Pep Guardiola has been handed a welcome injury boost ahead of Sunday’s match, with England duo Kyle Walker and John Stones both available for selection, after returning to training on Thursday.
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Ruben Dias is set to be Manchester City’s only absentee, with manager Pep Guardiola confirming that he has no other fitness concerns ahead of the weekend.
Ederson’s pending 241st Manchester City start is set to not just have the Premier League title on the line, with the Brazilian still in the running to win his third Golden Glove award, having amassed 20 clean sheets in the league this season – level with Liverpool goalkeeper, alisson
Kyle Walker‘s absence in recent weeks has stuck out like a sore thumb, and with the Englishman having returned to first-team training on Thursday, one expects to see the 31 year-old make his 200th start for the club, even if he is not fully fit.
in central defense, Aymeric Laporte will be hoping to guide Manchester City to a fourth Premier League title alongside Nathan Akewho after a surprisingly impressive campaign, can be expected to start over Fernandinho and John Stones, despite the latter returning to from injury this week.
Despite a dogged performance against West Ham, one excepts to see Oleksandr Zinchenko drop to the bench and be replaced at left-back by Joao Cancelowith the Portuguese full-back reverting to the left following the expected return of Walker.
Although Sunday afternoon is likely to mark Fernandinho’s final game for the club after an illustrious nine year spell, one doesn’t expect to see the 37 year-old start, with Pep Guardiola opting to play the ever-reliable Rodri in central-defensive midfield.
Ahead of the Spaniard, one expects to see Pep Guardiola return to the attacking personnel which thrashed Wolves 5-1 at Molineux, as Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan both come into the starting eleven.
Kevin DeBruyne will occupy the false-nine role in his 39th start of the ongoing season for the Blues, with Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling either side of the Belgian – despite Jack Grealish’s fine performance against West Ham last weekend and the opponents being his boyhood club.
Predicted XI: Ederson; Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Nathan Ake, Joao Cancelo; Rodri, Ilkay Gundogan, Bernardo Silva; Raheem Sterling, Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden.
Substitutions: Zack Steffen, Scott Carson, John Stones, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus, Cole Palmer.
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