Pep‘s farewell to Fernandinho
Manchester City will win the Premier League title if they beat Aston Villa at home on the final day of the season.
Pep Guardiola’s team have been pushed to the end by Liverpool but come into the final day of the campaign with the destination of the trophy firmly in their hands but last weekend’s 2-2 draw at West Ham means they have no margin for error. If they beat Villa, they will claim their fourth title in five seasons but fail to do so and a Liverpool win at Wolves would see the Reds snatch the trophy from their grasp.
Villans manager Steven Gerrard will be out to spoil the party at the Etihad – aiding the team he captained as a player for many years in the process – and said in the build-up to the game: “If that inevitably helps Liverpool, fantastic, but my priority is to try and get points for Aston Villa.”
Follow all the action from a crunch Man City vs Aston Villa clash below:
Early team news for Man City vs Aston Villa
Manchester City’s John Stones and Kyle Walker have both returned to training after injuries and it remains to be seen whether Pep Guardiola will risk them for today’s crucial fixture. Otherwise City have an unchanged squad to the one that faced West Ham last time out.
Aston Villa’s Leon Bailey could feature after missing four games with an ankle injury. Former Liverpool players Danny Ings and Philippe Coutinho are in contention to start after coming off the bench against Burnley last Thursday.
Michael Jones22 May 2022 14:18
‘We know what we have to do.’
Pep Guardiola is trying to win his ninth major trophy since taking charge of Manchester City and will win the Premier League title for a fourth time in five years if his team defeat Aston Villa this afternoon.
Speaking ahead of today’s final matches the City boss was keen to play down the dramatic nature of the final day saying
“We know what we have to do. I said to the players: ‘It’s just a game, don’t think of the consequences.’ We do what we have to do to beat Aston Villa.
“Two similar games never existed – it’s nice to have a chance to win at home. It’s different, we are different people. It’s important to win but we cannot control everything.
“If we are better, we are going to win. It is just a football game, we are not going to do something different.”
Michael Jones22 May 2022 14:15
‘We need to carry a threat’ says Gerrard
Aston Villa boss, Steven Gerrard, believes his team are capable of causing problems against Manchester City as Pep Guardiola’s men attempt to win the Premier League title.
“Against a lot of the top teams, we have done well.” said Gerrard, “It took a penalty for Liverpool to beat us at Anfield; we took City to the death with pressure.
“We could have nicked a point there. We need everyone to be all in, in terms of organization and what we give to the game.
“But at the same time, we are not just going to wait and show no ambition. We need to carry a threat in this game.”
If Aston Villa restrict City to a draw or worse this afternoon then Liverpool will have the chance to take the trophy provided that they defeat Wolves at Anfield.
Michael Jones22 May 2022 14:10
Premier League Golden Boot 2022: Mo Salah and Son Heung-min battle for top scorer award
As of writing, Salah has 22 goals and Son has 21 with one game left to play. However, it’s unknown if Salah will be up for selection against Wolves, so Son has a huge opportunity to take the award on the final day with Spurs facing Norwich.
And while Son could be crowned the top league scorer, he has said it isn’t at the top of his priority list.
“Obviously it’s a good thing that you are racing to be a top scorer, but I have said a few times that it is more important to finish in the top four than anything else,” he said.
Michael Jones22 May 2022 14:06
Salah or not Salah?
Mohamed Salah picked up a calf injury during the FA Cup victory over Chelsea and missed Liverpool’s win over Southampton, but Jurgen Klopp says he is in contention to be involved today. Will Salah play, with the Premier League trophy as well as the Golden Boot on the line, or will he be wrapped up in cotton wool for the Champions League final in six days’ time?
My money is on a chunky substitute appearance to get a few minutes in the legs.
Lawrence Ostlere22 May 2022 14:01
Read Miguel Delaney’s final day preview
‘Mad things happen’: after 37 rounds of fixtures, the title and relegation battles could yet be decided by the finest of margins on an afternoon like few others in football, writes Michael Delaney:
Lawrence Ostlere22 May 2022 13:52
Premier League title race coverage
Welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of a dramatic Premier League title race, as Man City and Liverpool Friday for the crown on the final day.
City’s task is simple – beat Aston Villa and they will be crowned champions for the fourth time in five years but if they slip up, the Reds could yet sneak in.
If Pep Guardiola’s men fail to triumph against Villa, Liverpool will snatch the title from their grasp with a win at home to an out-of-sorts Wolves. All Jurgen Klopp’s men can do is take care of business at Anfield and then hope that club legend Steven Gerrard – now managing Aston Villa – does them a favor at the Etihad.
Stick with us as we take you through all the drama.
Luke Baker22 May 2022 10:55
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.