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Steven Gerrard faces his toughest test as Aston Villa manager so far when his side welcome title-challengers Manchester City to Villa Park in the Premier League tonight.

The former Rangers boss took the reins at Aston Villa following the departure of Dean Smith last month and has got off to the perfect start, winning both of his first two games in charge ahead of the match against Manchester City.

The upturn in form was much needed after a run of 5 straight defeats beforehand, a run of form which ultimately resulted in Smith’s demise.

Wins over Brighton and Crystal Palace respectively have eased the pressure on a Villa side who were hurtling towards the relegation zone.

For visiting Manchester City, they are firmly in this season’s title race and will arrive at Villa Park in 2nd place, a point behind league leaders Chelsea.

Pep Guardiola’s side have won their last 3 games in a row, scoring 7 goals and conceding just once in the process.

Last time out they narrowly saw off West Ham United with goals from Gundogan and Fernandinho sealing the three points.

If Chelsea drop points to Watford and City beat Villa, Pep’s side will go top of the table.

One of the key talking points ahead of this game will be the return of Jack Grealish to Aston Villa for the first time since his £100m transfer to Manchester City in the summer.

The England international missed the game with the Hammers but is expected to be involved against his former club tonight.

Fitness issues have been Pep Guardiola’s main concern ahead of the trip, with Phil Foden rated touch-and-go to feature.

Aymeric Laporte is suspended, Kevin de Bruyne is a major doubt as he recovers from coronavirus and Ferran Torres remains absent with a broken foot.

For Aston Villa, Bertrand Traore is the only definite absentee with a thigh injury whilst Trezeguet and Danny Ings are major doubts to be involved.

Aston Villa v Manchester City kicks off at 8.15pm on Wednesday 1st December.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

About the author

Niall McCaughan

Broadcast Journalist
Sport Social's Broadcast Journalist. Host of the Football Social Daily podcast. Football Commentator for Manchester United, Leicester City and more. Big Pompey fan.
Follow @niallpfc on Twitter

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