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Manchester City logo
Premier League | Gameweek 31
Apr 3, 2024 at 8.15pm UK
Etihad Stadium
Aston Villa logo

Man City
4 - 1
Aston Villa

Rodri (11'), Foden (45+1', 62', 69')
Grealish (32')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Duran (20')
Luiz (38'), Chambers (90+4')

Unai Emery confirms major Aston Villa injury blow ahead of Manchester City game

Emery confirms major Villa injury blow ahead of Man City game
© Reuters
Aston Villa manager Unai Emery reveals that Ollie Watkins will play no part of Wednesday's Premier League fixture at Manchester City.

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has revealed that Ollie Watkins will miss the Premier League fixture at Manchester City on Wednesday night.

The 28-year-old has been one of the standout players of the 2023-24 campaign, contributing 16 goals and 10 assists in the top flight.

Furthermore, the England international has started each of Villa's 30 league games, highlighting his important to Emery's attack.

However, that run will come to an end tomorrow with Emery revealing at a press conference on Tuesday that the forward will sit out the trip to the Etihad Stadium, also ruling out Jacob Ramsey.

Aston Villa forward Ollie Watkins hobbles off with a knee injury against Ajax on March 14, 2024.© Reuters

What did Emery have to say?

Speaking to reporters, as quoted by Birmingham Live, Emery said: "They will not be available for tomorrow. They have small injuries.

"Jacob Ramsey is not getting better like he wants. We are not in a hurry with him. For tomorrow he will not be available.

"With Ollie, it is more or less the same. Ollie's injury is a small injury, with some days rest, maybe he could be available for the next match."

Before the international break, Watkins suffered a knock to his knee that required treatment and led to his withdrawal during the first half of the Europa Conference League last-16 game against Ajax on March 14.

Watkins would recover in time for a fixture at West Ham United three days later, while he would also start for England against Brazil on March 23.

However, Watkins would go on to suffer a hamstring injury against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, leading to his substitution at half time.

Aston Villa's Jhon Duran celebrates scoring their first goal on September 16, 2023© Reuters

How will Villa handle Watkins's absence?

Having made just one Premier League start all season, Jhon Duran appears in line to deputise for Watkins down the middle of Villa's frontline.

Nevertheless, it will not necessarily be a seamless transition; the Colombia international has completed the 90 minutes on just two occasions in 2023-24, with each coming in the Europa Conference League.

On a positive note, the 20-year-old has played at least 45 minutes in Villa's last three fixtures, against Ajax, West Ham and Wolves respectively, after a spell on the sidelines.

Emery also has the option of deploying former Man City youngster Morgan Rogers down the centre of the attack, rather than in a left-sided role.

Academy graduate Omari Kellyman may also hope to earn some minutes off the substitutes' bench, the 18-year-old having been handed a cameo outing against Ajax before the international break.

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