Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard, who can do former club Liverpool a favour in the race for the Premier League title, has been dealt a huge blow after an injury update from today’s opponents Manchester City.
The Lowdown: Top half finish still possible
Villa could only manage a draw against Burnley on Thursday, leaving them on 45 points in 14th place heading into the final day. However, Gerrard’s side still have an outside chance of finishing in the top 10.
Will Villa get anything today?
Yes, Gerrard will help out Liverpool!
Not a chance!
The Villans travel to the Etihad Stadium knowing that a win could take them above Crystal Palace, Brentford, Newcastle and Brighton. A victory would also help out Jurgen Klopp at Anfield, but Villa’s task appears to have been made harder following news on John Stones and Kyle Walker.
The Latest: Stones and Walker set to feature?
Pep Guardiola admitted just two weeks ago that both Stones and Walker would be out for the rest of the season alongside Ruben Dias.
However, the England internationals have now returned to training just days before the visit of Gerrard’s side, with Guardiola revealing on Friday afternoon that the pair may feature today.
The Verdict: Not ideal
City struggled defensively last time out against West Ham, with Fernandinho lining out as a centre-back. The league leaders have the best defensive record in the top flight, so another makeshift back four would have been a boost for Gerrard.
However, it looks as if two of their main defenders could make a shock return at a crucial time, possibly making things even more difficult for Villa.
Gerrard did start with both Philippe Coutinho and Danny Ings on the bench on Thursday, so he may need the former Liverpool duo at the top of their game for Villa to pose a threat if they are to spoil the party at the Etihad.
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