Manchester City v Aston Villa

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said it is a “privilege” to be in a position to win the Premier League title

TEAM NEWS

Manchester City defenders John Stones and Kyle Walker have both returned to training, although it is not yet clear if either will be involved on Sunday.

Aston Villa have the same squad available after being dheld at Burnleywith Danny Ings and Philippe Coutinho in contention to start after coming off the bench on Thursday.

Leon Bailey could feature after four games out with an ankle injury.

LAWRO’S PREDICTION

We’ve seen in the past few weeks how good Manchester City and Liverpool are when they go behind in games, not just when they are bossing them and in front.

City have lost once in the Premier League since the end of October – that’s how good they are. It’s a similar story with Liverpool too, and both teams are simply miles ahead of everyone else.

So, if there is any sort of setback for City or indeed Liverpool during Sunday’s games – let’s just say one of them is a goal down at half-time – you know they are both capable of recovering from it and finding a response.

I do not see that scenario even happening though. We know how good this City team is, and I fully expect them to go on and clinch the title without another wobble like the one we saw at West Ham.

Prediction: 3-0

Lawro’s last-ever Premier League predictions

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola looks on during the Premier League draw at West Ham United on 15 May

MATCH FACTS

Head-to-head

  • Manchester City have won nine of their past 10 Premier League games against Aston Villa, including the last six in a row, and drawing the other. Their last defeat in this fixture came at Villa Park in September 2013.
  • Villa have lost 11 successive league matches away to City since a 2-0 win in April 2007. It is Villa’s longest away losing streak against an opponent in their league history.

Manchester City

  • Victory for Manchester City will secure their eighth top-flight title. It would be their sixth Premier League title, the second most after Manchester United’s 13, and their fourth in five seasons.
  • City are attempting to secure their fourth Premier League title under Pep Guardiola, a tally bettered only Sir Alex Ferguson’s 13. It would make Guardiola the outright leader for English top-flight titles among non-British managers, going one clear of both Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho.
  • Guardiola has won the title in nine of his previous 12 top-flight seasons as a manager: three times each with Barcelona, ​​Bayern Munich and City.
  • City have lost just one of their last 27 Premier League games, while they are unbeaten in 11 since losing 3-2 at home to Spurs in February.
  • Their only final-day defeat in their last 13 campaigns came at home to Norwich City in 2012-13.
  • Manchester City have triumphed in all five of their final league games of the season under Guardiola by an aggregate score of 20-1.
  • The Citizens can equal the club league record of 22 clean sheets in a single campaign, last set in 1999 in the third tier.
  • Kevin De Bruyne has scored 13 goals and assisted seven in his last 19 Premier League appearances.

Aston Villa

  • Steven Gerrard has lost 11 of his 26 Premier League fixtures as Aston Villa manager, equalling his total number of defeats in 118 league games in charge of Rangers
  • Aston Villa have won just one of their 21 Premier League away games against the league leaders (D3, L17), beating Leeds United 2-1 in January 2000.
  • They are winless in their last 16 matches versus the Premier League leaders, losing the previous seven by an aggregate score of 21-1.
  • Villa could win their final-day game in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1998, following a 2-1 victory over Chelsea in 2020-21.
  • However, they have triumphed in just one of their previous 15 final-day away fixtures in the Premier League, a 3-1 win at Chelsea in 2002.
  • Philippe Coutinho has failed to score or assist in any of his last 10 Premier League appearances, after recording seven goal involvements in his first eight games for Villa.
  • Ollie Watkins has scored in all three Premier League appearances versus the reigning champions, netting five goals in total.

Choose your Manchester City starting formation and line-up. It’s up to you how to approach it – you could go for the team you WANT the boss to pick or the one you THINK he will.

Choose your Aston Villa formation and starting line-up. It’s up to you how to approach it – you could go for the team you WANT the boss to pick or the one you THINK he will.

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