Man City will welcome Aston Villa to a packed Etihad Stadium with the hope of securing yet another Premier League trophy on the final day of the competition. The race for this season's league title has been a closely contested one and Pep Guardiola's men will enter Sunday's clash knowing that their destiny remains in their own hands. Only one point separates the two heavyweights and this was partly due to the fact that City were almost put in an uncomfortable position when they faced West Ham last week.
Two first half goals by Jarrod Bowen propelled the Hammers in front in what was their final home game of the season and it took Pep Guardiola's half-time team talk to turn the tide in favor of the league leaders. After Jack Grealish reduced the deficit to just one, Coufal's own goal restored parity for the Etihad outfit. The remontada was almost completed but for Łukasz Fabianski saving Riyad Mahrez's late spot-kick.
Ahead of the clash with Villa, the Citizens boast an 11-game unbeaten run, scoring at least twice in eight of those fixtures. Their chances of securing a win are also significantly boasted by the fact that the last three consecutive home meetings with Brighton & Hove Albion, Watford and Newcastle United, have all resulted in wins. They scored 13 goals and conceded just once during the period.
That withstanding, Steven Gerrard and his Aston Villa band will be out to ruin the party for the reigning champions. As former player and a Liverpool legend, the latter will aim to deploy the right tactics to cement his name in the history of the Premier League as the man to have handed the Manchester club one of the most agonizing defeats in their history.
Needless to say, the objective is not an easy one, especially as the opponent his side faces will have the backing of their fans for more than 90 minutes. Having been recruited to steady the ship after a rather uncharacteristic start, Gerrard is set to finish the league season with Aston Villa in 14th position. In mid-week, they drew against relegation-battling Burnley to extend their unbeaten run to two. So far they have lost just once in their last six outings.
Villa should have the right motivation going into the game as they have not managed a single win over City in close to a decade. The Birmingham club last won a game against the Citizens in 2013, where goals from Leandro Bacuna, Andreas Wiemann and Karim El Ahmadi propelled them to a 3-2 win at home. Edin Dzeko and Yaya Toure scored City's goals.
Head to head record
Manchester City have won nine of their last ten Premier League games against Aston Villa, including the last six. Their last defeat in this game occurred in September 2013 at Villa Park.
Since a 2-0 victory at City in April 2007, Villa have lost 11 consecutive league games. It is Villa's longest losing streak away from home against an opponent in league history.
Manchester City will win their eighth Premier League title if they win. It would be their sixth Premier League title, second only to Manchester United's 13, and fourth in the last five seasons.
City have only lost one of their past 27 Premier League games, and they have gone 11 games unbeaten since falling 3-2 at home to Tottenham Hotspur in February.
Man City can equal the club league record of 22 clean sheets in a single season, which was last set in the third tier in 1999.
Steven Gerrard has lost 11 of his 26 Premier League games as manager of Aston Villa, matching his total number of defeats in 118 league games as manager of Rangers.
Aston Villa have only won one of their 21 Premier League away games against the league leaders (D3, L17), a 2-1 victory over Leeds United in January 2000.
Predicted starting XI
Manchester City: Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Laporte, Zinchenko; Silva, Rodri, De Bruyne; Sterling, Jesus, Grealish
Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Chambers, Mings, Digne; McGinn, Luiz, Ramsey; Coutinho; Watkins, Ings.
Manchester City vs Aston Villa Broadcast Information
Stadium: Etihad Stadium (Manchester)
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