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Manchester City have doubts over key players for Aston Villa clash

Pep Guardiola is set to be without several of his key players when Manchester City come to Aston Villa on Wednesday (8.15pm).

Jack Grealish and Phil Foden missed City’s home win over with West Ham United through injury, while Aymeric Laporte picked up a booking and will be suspended.

The City manager said: “John Stones was not well the last two days. He had a fever after our game against PSG, so was on the bench today. I would like Nathan Ake to play more than he is but Laporte is playing really well. But he is suspended for the game against Aston Villa, so it’s a chance for the other guys.”

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Kevin De Bruyne and Ferran Torres were also absent for Sunday’s game and face a race against the clock to declare their fitness for the clash with Steven Gerrard’s side.

However, the embarrassment of riches in City’s squad means the new Villa boss still arguably faces the toughest game of his short managerial career on Wednesday.

A 33rd-minute strike from Ilkay Gundogan and a late Fernandinho effort earned the champions a hard-fought 2-1 success over the high-flying Hammers at the Etihad Stadium, a game in which the likes of Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva all impressed.

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