Manchester City have named their starting 11 ahead of their fixture against West Ham United this afternoon, and it could provide an insight into what Steven Gerrard and his Aston Villa side will be facing this week.
Villa play host to the Premier League champions on Wednesday night (8.15pm), and many fans have been anticipating the return of £100m man Grealish to his old stamping ground.
However, both Grealish and Phil Foden were notable absentees from the City line-up for their home clash with the Hammers, suggesting they could both be doubts for the midweek fixture.
Riyad Mahrez and Raheem Sterling came into the City squad, so it is clear City still possess the necessary quality to threaten a Villa defence that, bar a last-minute lapse of concentration, has looked solid since Gerrard’s arrival.
Foden and Grealish are still big misses for City and their absence on Wednesday would hand Villa with a significant boost.
Gerrard has won his first two games in charge of his new club and will be keen to continue Villa’s upturn in fortunes against City, tall order though that will be to achieve.
Pep Guardiola’s side provide him with his toughest test yet, but with losses against Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur this season, City have shown they are vulnerable if the correct tactics are implemented.
It is unclear what kind of reception Grealish would receive if he is declared fit to face his former club.
Villa are now entering a new era, away from the previous Grealish and Dean Smith regime. It has started well with six points from two games and the new boss will be keen to prove himself against arguably one of the best teams in the world.
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