After the defensive heroics at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday night, there comes another very big challenge for Dean Smith’s side as Man City come to Villa Park.
This season has already been a season of up and downs as we fully expected. Following the results over Christmas, I started to have my doubts in Smith myself. Not because of the results but what appeared to be the stubbornness to not see a system not working. Then on New Years Day, he changed to a 3-5-2/5-3-2, depending on how you view it, and Villa look a much more comfortable and solid unit. But as I have already touched upon, Man City will be another big test for this new system and for Aston Villa as a whole.
Man City may not appear to be the same side we have witnessed over the previous two seasons but they are very capable of an onslaught. Villa will have to be at their best and hope that for once this season, lady luck shines over Villa Park.
Following this game, Villa has a run of Premier League games that we must be looking to take something from. It is vital we keep it simple against Man City and come out of the game knowing we gave our all. The last thing we want is for a battering and for our heads to drop.
Aston Villa will still be without Jonathan Kodjia through illness. There are reports that the Ivorian could be on his way out of the club so it is unclear just how true the illness story is. Keinan Davis is still a couple of weeks away from a return despite the club originally expecting him back for the busy Christmas period.
Villa are still without John McGinn (fracture), Wesley (ACL), Tom Heaton (ACL) and Jed Steer (heel) who all have long term injuries. Matt Targett should be available for selection after returning from a thigh injury.
Danny Drinkwater could be in contention to make his debut following his loan move from Chelsea.
Aymeric Laporte is back in training for Man City but he isn’t expected to be ready for the game at Villa Park. Leroy Sane (knee) is the only other casualty for Pep Guardiola.