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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Aston Villa hit by huge injury blow ahead of facing Man City

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Aston Villa’s top scorer Ollie Watkins has been ruled out of their visit to Manchester City on Wednesday with a hamstring injury.

The England international was taken off at half-time as Villa defeated Wolves on Saturday and the club have confirmed he will play no part at the Etihad.

Watkins has scored 16 goals in the Premier League this season but Villa have decided against risking the 28-year-old’s fitness ahead of the run-in.

Manager Unai Emery said Watkins had a “small injury” and could be available for Villa’s home fixture against Brentford this weekend.

Villa’s trip to City is a key clash in both the Premier League title race and in the contest for Champions League qualification.

Villa are three points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, who hold a game in hand, in the race for fourth while City trail Liverpool and Arsenal after their 0-0 draw against the Gunners at the weekend.

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that City will be without Kyle Walker, Ederson and Nathan Ake when the champions host Villa, although John Stones could return to ease their defensive issues.

Villa defeated City at home earlier this season but the champions have since gone 20 games unbeaten in all competitions.

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