Steven Gerrard is running out of time as the Aston Villa boss with only one win and four defeats in five games. They are currently 19th in the league standings and the situation might get worse on Saturday evening when they host the majestic Manchester City.
The Skyblues have been relentless since a 3-3 draw against Newcastle United. They scripted a comeback against Crystal Palace and demolished Nottingham Forest 6-0 in back-to-back games. It remains to be seen how the vulnerable Villa defence deals with the fearsome Erling Haaland following successive hat-tricks in their last two fixtures.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City: Talking Tactics
Gerrard introduced an exciting brand of football after replacing Dean Smith as the new Villa boss. However, he lost his grip late in the previous term and the situation has not improved at all despite some quality addition during the summer window. The manager must opt for a 4-2-3-1 and concentrate on their defensive composure to avoid further humiliation.
Man City are the outright favourites but they must not feel complacent after comprehensive wins. Villa tested their resolve in the final gameweek of the 2021-22 season, but the champions of England scripted a scintillating comeback to conquer the title. Pep Guardiola should stick to his trademark 4-3-3 with a marksman of Haaland’s profile spearheading the attack.
To add to their ongoing misery, centre-half Diego Carlos is sidelined for months who only joined them this summer. Leander Dendoncker completed a deadline-day move from Wolves, but the Belgium international is also a doubt due to illness.
Aston Villa Predicted XI
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Digne; Kamara, Luiz; Ramsey, Coutinho, Bailey; Watkins
The Citizens have Aymeric Laporte sidelined for a few more weeks. But they roped in Manuel Akanji to maintain depth in the heart of the backline. Jack Grealish [knee] and Nathan Ake [groin] will undergo late fitness tests, and so is Kalvin Phillips who has been struggling with a shoulder strain.
Manchester City Predicted XI
Ederson; Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo; Rodri, De Bruyne, Silva; Mahrez, Foden, Haaland
Philippe Coutinho has revived his form to a certain extent since joining the Villans. The ‘little magician’ should exhibit his mastery in and around the attacking third. Ollie Watkins must grab his opportunities while leading the line and the flair of Leon Bailey must be utilized from the right-hand flank.
Although Haaland has grabbed all the attention with 9 goals in 5 Premier League games, both Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva are the driving force of this ruthless City side with their creativity and work rate. Aston Villa must find a way to stop this trio this Saturday.
Aston Villa vs Manchester City: Streaming Links
|United Kingdom||Sky Sports/Sky Go|
|New Zealand||Spark Sport|