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Manchester City vs Aston Villa – LIVE Reddit Soccer 22/05/2022

Manchester City vs Aston Villa – LIVE Reddit Soccer 22/05/2022

Manchester City will aim to wrap up the Premier League title when Aston Villa pay a visit to the Etihad Stadium for Sunday’s final-day showdown. The Citizens currently hold a one-point lead over Liverpool at the top of the table, while the Lions still have the slightest hope of finishing in the top half. A few Man City fans may have prematurely got the bottles of champagne out when Nathan Redmond gave Southampton the lead against Liverpool, but the Reds turned the tie around to ensure that the race for glory would go right down to the final day.

Pep Guardiola’s side would only need a point this weekend had they secured victory over West Ham United, but a disjointed side went 2-0 behind to Jarrod Bowen’s brace before Jack Grealish and a Vladimir Coufal own goal rescued a point for the league leaders. Regardless of what happens during Liverpool’s meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield, victory for Man City would see them lift the Premier League trophy for the sixth time in 11 seasons, and a draw would also suffice if Jurgen Klopp’s side slip up.

Guardiola will certainly not set his side up to draw, though, especially with City now finding the back of the net at least twice in their last eight Premier League matches, and their unbeaten run in the top flight now stands at 11 games. The Citizens have also eased to three consecutive home wins over Brighton & Hove Albion, Watford and Newcastle United in the past few weeks – scoring 13 goals and conceding just one – and Guardiola’s 100% record of five wins from five on the final day is also on the line here. Steven Gerrard never won a Premier League title at Liverpool, but the Villa boss could now win the title for Liverpool, who are relying on their legendary midfielder to silence the Etihad crowd with his fatigued crop on the final day.

The Lions could not replicate their 3-1 Turf Moor win over Burnley from earlier this month as they played out a 1-1 draw with Mike Jackson’s side on Thursday, and it was the visitors who went ahead through Ashley Barnes’s spot kick before Emiliano Buendia got on the scoresheet himself.

Villa could have been heading for a defeat had it not been for a magnificent block from Tyrone Mings from Wout Weghorst’s close-range effort, while a string of saves from Nick Pope also served to leave the Lions 14th in the table and three points adrift of 10th-placed Brighton & Hove Albion.

Failing to keep a clean sheet in four successive matches does not bode well for Villa – who have lost each of their last 11 league games on Man City’s turf – before a trip to the Etihad, while a paltry tally of two wins from their last 10 games in the Premier League can certainly be described as ending the season with a whimper.

Gerrard has all the motivation that he needs to try to get a result this weekend, but not since January 2000 have Villa won a Premier League match away from home to the league leaders – doing so at Leeds United – and continuing their recent spate of goal-laden home performances would be a fitting way for City to clinch the domestic crown.

Despite enjoying a glittering career, Steven Gerrard had very few opportunities to help his beloved Liverpool win the Premier League titles throughout his professional spell at Anfield. But this Sunday, he will have the opportunity to do so, this time as Aston Villa manager, as his team takes on Manchester City at Etihad Stadium.

In the context of final day permutations and combinations, this is going to be a dead rubber affair for Aston Villa. The Villans are well away from the relegation scrap and at the same time, have no real hopes of finishing inside the first half of the league table.

But if Gerrard’s men manage to hold Manchester City to a point, it would enable Liverpool to complete what would be the biggest title heist in the history of the Premier League.

Heading into this final matchday, the two sides are currently separated by one point, with Man City only having a slender advantage. But a draw against Aston Villa means they could lose out on the league title if Liverpool win on their final day encounter against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

With a tally of 89 points, Liverpool would have won most of the league titles over the past two decades, but the fact that they are currently trailing by a point is a testament to the quality Manchester City possess and the consistency they have shown under Pep Guardiola.

But after a 2-2 draw with West Ham, the Catalan mastermind will expect nothing less than a victory as the hosts look to successfully defend their title for the second time in three years. And here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over these two sides ahead of their all-important match-up at the Etihad this weekend.

Manchester City were heading into this game without Kyle Walker, John Stones and Ruben Dias. But it appears both Stones and Walker have made quick recoveries and could be fast-tracked into the starting eleven against Aston Villa on Sunday.

Given the importance of the game, Walker and Stones should get the nod in defence alongside Joao Cancelo and Aymeric Laporte. Guardiola will hope the return of these two individuals could go a long way in solidifying the base of the Man City backline that looked quite vulnerable against West Ham, with the ageing Fernandinho looking off the pace.

Things get interesting in midfield, where Guardiola has to make a decision between Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan, considering both Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne are guaranteed starters.

Judging by form, Silva should get the nod ahead in the starting eleven. But the Portuguese international can be utilised in an attacking position, which, in turn, could see Gundogan operating in central midfield. But we suspect Silva to be used in midfield as Man City need the extra creative firepower in order to breach the Villa backline.

If the prospect of De Bruyne and Silva in midfield was not enough, the Aston Villa defenders will have to deal with the in-form Gabriel Jesus in the final third. The Brazilian, in what could be his last game for the club, will be aiming to cap off his career at Etihad by helping his team win the league title.

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