Jack Grealish’s status is unclear for Manchester City’s visit to Villa Park on Wednesday evening.
In-form Aston Villa welcome the Premier League giants to Birmingham after securing a pair of victories in Steven Gerrard’s first two matches as head coach.
Grealish pulled out of the England camp at the last international break and missed City’s previous two top-flight contests.
With or without Grealish, City is a tough task for a Villa side that’s found its footing under Gerrard. The Champions League finalists are second in the Premier League table with 29 points from 13 contests.
Consecutive wins have Villa into 13th place with 16 points, level with 11th-place Crystal Palace, and 12th-place Brentford. A thorough 2-1 victory over Palace on Saturday was emblematic of the squad’s quick progression under Gerrard.
Since promotion to the top flight in 2019-20, Manchester City are the only “Big 6” club Villa have not beaten. The last time AVFC took all three points from City was September 28, 2013, when Karim El Ahmadi, Leandro Bacuna, and Andi Weimann scored in a 3-2 home victory.
City have won their previous 15 Wednesday contests and are 10-1-0 in their previous 11 meetings with Villa.
Aston Villa vs. Manchester City team news
Gerrard is set to be without Danny Ings, who was on the bench at Palace over the weekend but is nursing a knock that will rule him out for City.
Bertrand Traore and Trezeguet–who returned to full training recently and will play with the U23s next week–also miss out. Morgan Sanson, an unused sub at the weekend, is not fully fit and won’t start on Wednesday.
Pep Guardiola said on Tuesday that Phil Foden and Grealish “will be tested” on Wednesday before deciding on their availability.
Kevin De Bruyne (Covid-19), Aymeric Laporte (suspension), and Ferran Torres (foot) are all unavailable for City.
Aston Villa formation: Gerrard to use same XI
Expect no changes to Gerrard’s starting XI from Saturday’s win at Palace.
The backline and midfield will remain unchanged after strong performances throughout both areas. Marvelous Nakamba, fresh off a Man of the Match performance, could be Villa’s most important player on Wednesday as he’ll be tasked with providing extra cover in front of the defensive block.
Matt Target, Jacob Ramsey, and John McGinn will look to replicate top-drawer outings against a City side ever comfortable in possession.
Villa’s only change could come in the attacking third. Perhaps Gerrard prefers Emi Buendia to Leon Bailey, who may struggle to maintain a high press for 90 minutes.
Ashley Young and Ollie Watkins are guaranteed starters for Gerrard’s side.
Aston Villa projected Starting XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Nakamba, J. Ramsey; Bailey, Watkins, Young
Manchester City projected Starting XI: Ederson; Cancelo, Dias, Stones, Zinchenko; Silva, Rodri, Gundogan; Mahrez, Jesus, Sterling
Date/time: Wednesday, December 1 at 8:15 PM BST/3:15 PM EST
Ground: Villa Park
Referee: Mike Dean
TV/Streaming UK: Amazon Prime Video
TV/Streaming US: Peacock