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Aston Villa logo
Premier League | Gameweek 15
Dec 6, 2023 at 8.15pm UK
Villa Park
Manchester City logo
Aston Villa
1 - 0
Man City
Bailey (74')
Watkins (60'), Kamara (87')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Stones (45'), Lewis (53')

Manchester City's Jeremy Doku an injury doubt for Aston Villa clash, John Stones available

Man City's Doku an injury doubt for Aston Villa clash, Stones available
© Reuters
Manchester City winger Jeremy Doku emerges as a doubt for Wednesday's Premier League clash with Aston Villa, while John Stones is in contention to play at Villa Park.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said that he will make a late call on the fitness of winger Jeremy Doku before naming his team for Wednesday's Premier League clash against Aston Villa.

Doku, a £55m summer signing from Rennes, has made a bright start to life at the Etihad Stadium this season, scoring four goals and providing six assists in 19 appearances for the Citizens across all competitions.

The 21-year-old, who has completed the joint-most dribbles (31) in the Premier League this season, was recently named Man City's Player of the Month for November.

However, Doku has emerged as an injury doubt for Wednesday's trip to Villa Park after he was withdrawn shortly after half time in the 3-3 draw with Tottenham Hotspur last weekend due to an unspecified leg issue.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Guardiola remained coy over Doku's availability, telling reporters: "We have training this afternoon. I will talk with the doctors and see after."

Manchester City's John Stones pictured on August 6, 2023© Reuters

Meanwhile, Man City have been boosted by the news that John Stones is back in contention to start after watching on as an unused substitute in the last three matches following his recovery from a muscle injury.

Asked if Stones could start against Aston Villa, Guardiola said: "He was ready for the last game, and he's ready now."

Stones enjoyed an exceptional run of form during the second half of last season operating in a hybrid midfield role, and he could be tasked with filling the void left behind by lynchpin Rodri, who will serve a one-match suspension on Wednesday, along with ex-Villa man Jack Grealish, due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

The likes of Manuel Akanji, who has played in midfield in each of City's last four games, Nathan Ake, Rico Lewis, Mateo Kovacic, Bernardo Silva and Kalvin Phillips are other options at Guardiola's disposal.

"John can play there, yeah," said Guardiola. "Akanji as well, and Ake. "We don't deny Rodri's importance, but he's suspended, like Jack. We'll find the best solution to compete against Villa."

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on December 3, 2023© Reuters

Specifically discussing Phillips, who has fallen down the pecking order at Man City and has been linked with a January exit, Guardiola said: "There is a chance (of playing against Villa).

"Today I have to see training in the afternoon and see how the players are and feel. The decision will be made tomorrow.

"(Kalvin's training has been) exceptional. I don't have any bad comments about him, as I've said many times."

There was no mention of Matheus Nunes by Guardiola, but the midfielder has returned to first-team training after missing the last three games with a muscle problems and he could feature in the matchday squad on Wednesday.

Man City head to Villa Park having drawn each of their last three Premier League matches, and they have subsequently slipped to third in the table, sitting three points behind leaders Arsenal and just one point above Aston Villa in fourth.

Unai Emery's side have remarkably won 17 of their last 18 matches on home soil, but the Citizens will fancy their chances of returning to winning ways on Wednesday as they have won 10 of their last 11 meetings with the Lions by an aggregate score of 32-8.

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2Manchester CityMan City26185359263359
4Aston Villa26164656352152
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs25145652381447
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd26142103636044
7Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2610974941839
8West Ham UnitedWest Ham2611694046-639
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves26115104040038
10Newcastle UnitedNewcastle26114115445937
13Crystal Palace2677123144-1328
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest2666143448-1424
18Luton TownLuton2555153551-1620
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2634192266-4413

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