Either City or Liverpool will be crowned champions of England today, with former Reds captain Steven Gerrard undoubtedly keen to give his boyhood club a helping hand as he takes his Villa team to the Etihad.
But how will Gerrard opt to set up his team this afternoon, having played as recently as Thursday when the Villans drew 1-1 with Burnley? Here is how Football FanCast expect the West Midlands outfit to start at the Etihad:
Aston Villa XI vs Man. City: Martinez, Digne, Mings, Chambers, Cash, Ramsey, Luiz, McGinn, Buendia, Ings, Watkins
There are no changes in goal or in defence with Calum Chambers once again filling in for Ezri Konsa who has been ruled out for up to 16 weeks with a knee injury.
Moreover, there had been concerns regarding Martinez’s fitness prior to the clash with the Clarets, however, the Argentine recovered in time and appears set to make his 37th league appearance of the season, missing just one league game this term.
The same applies in midfield with the regular trio of Jacob Ramsey, Douglas Luiz and John McGinn all linking up.
However, could this be the last time the three all start together in the Premier League with plenty of talk regarding new midfielders coming in at Villa Park this summer?
The only change comes in attack with Carney Chukwuemeka dropping out for Danny Ings.
However, having been given the opportunity to impress from the start against Burnley, it seems incredibly likely that Gerrard will send him back to the bench against such a quality-ridden side like Manchester City. After all, his performance in midweek was hardly convincing.
On the other hand, Chukwuemeka’s teammate Ings has plenty of experience playing against quality sides like City with the 29-year-old in decent form for Villa.
Will Aston Villa get a result against Manchester City today?
It’s been an uneventful first season in claret and blue for the £100k-per-week Englishman claimed to be “outstanding” by former manager Jurgen Klopp, but he will certainly be looking to end on a high having scored twice in his last four starts.
Taking points off City will certainly be a monstrous task for Gerrard’s side, however, it would be the ultimate gesture to his former club if the West Midlands outfit can end the season with a result.
AND in other news: Huge blow: Villa dealt double injury setback ahead of MCFC, Gerrard will be worried…