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Aston Villa vs Manchester City – Match Preview

Aston Villa’s Micah Richards returns after suspension, while Ashley Westwood should be available despite suffering a head injury at Tottenham.

Gabby Agbonlahor will be assessed after being forced off on Monday with a tight calf, while Idrissa Gana and Adama Traore may return after being rested.

Manchester City will not risk playmaker David Silva, who is close to a comeback following an ankle injury.

Kevin De Bruyne is set for a recall after being rested in midweek.

Kelechi Iheanacho is available after being ineligible for Wednesday’s Champions League win against Sevilla.

Fit-again duo Fabian Delph and Gael Clichy were on the bench for that match and could feature, but Pablo Zabaleta, Samir Nasri and Sergio Aguero remain out.

Editor’s Note: Remi Garde has his first game in charge of Aston Villa this afternoon after watching Monday’s clash against Tottenham in the stands. He takes the reigns of a team that hasn’t won since the opening day of the season and are already starting to get cast adrift at the bottom of the Premier League. Can the new manager effect get into immediate effect today or will the visit of Manchester City be too big a challenge for the ex Arsenal Midfielder.

His Aston Villa side could have snatched a point on Monday but couldn’t quite deliver the hammer blow when they had Spurs on the ropes, that has almost been the story of their season. A lack of firepower is certainly going to be a concern especially as Agbonlahor looked incredibly blunt on Monday as he was hauled off after 45 minutes.

The big question is do they have the players who are up for the fight, a look through that Villa side and they do look incredibly soft, there will be no bigger test than the visit of the league leaders this afternoon. This is a Manchester City side who made hard work of beating Norwich last Saturday but ultimately still had enough to come away with all 3 points.

It could have been a real crisis for Manchester City when the injury of Sergio Aguero was announced last month but they’ve come through this period pretty unscathed so far, with Kevin De Bruyne settling in very quickly and pulling the strings in Midfield. Not only that he has chipped in with his fair share of goals to soften the blow of a missing Aguero. It could also be a real baptism of fire for a returning Fabian Delph as he could feature for Manchester City at Villa Park after the transfer u-turn saga of the Summer.

I think Manchester City will be able to deal with the challenge that Aston Villa throw at them today and Remi Garde won’t get the dream start he and the Villa faithful so desperately crave. An away win for me.

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