REVIEWS

The champion Manchester City visits Aston Villa at the Villa Park in a game from the 22th round of the Premier League.

The champion Manchester City visits Aston Villa at the Villa Park in a game from the 22th round of the Premier League.

At this moment Manchester City are third in the league with 44 points, just a point behind the second Leicester City. The club’s manager Josep Guardiola admitted that City are no longer in the title race as Liverpool are too much ahead right now. It wouldn’t be much of a difference if the Cityzens finish second or third in the league, but probably they would want to pass Leicester.

The champions approach this match after a fine performance against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup. City clinched a 3-1 win against the Red Devils in the first 1/2-final, making a confident step towards the final. In this game Guardiola put Raheem Sterling in the “false 9” role, playing without a pure striker. Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez scored for City, while United’s Andreas Pereira scored himself an own goal.

Aymeric Laporte and Leroy Sane remain sidelined for Man City with injuries, so they are unavaliable for selection by Guardiola.

Aston Villa are clinically close to the relegation zone, being 17th in the league with 21 points. For the Villans it’s going to be a survival fight until the end of the campaign.

What’s positive is that Aston Villa won two of their last three Premier League games, which allowed them to climb up in the table and escape the relegation zone. In the previous round Villa faced Burnley away from home and won with 2-1.

Aston Villa will try to use their home advantage and take something from the visiting champion Manchester City, but it’s not as easy as it probably sounds. Man City are clearly not in the title race at the moment, but it doesn’t mean that their desire to win is dead, too.

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