Manchester City vs Aston Villa team news
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will be without Oleksandr Zinchenko when they host Aston Villa in the Premier League on Saturday.
The Ukraine international is now facing a spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on his knee, with the club yet to confirm how long he will be out.
The 22-year-old, who has made seven appearances this season for the champions, has travelled to Spain for treatment and is due to start his rehabilitation programme after this weekend’s matches.
Guardiola will now have to reshuffle his defence once again this season, with centre-back Aymeric Laporte already out until February.
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Summer signing Rodri has been used at the back in recent weeks alongside fellow holding midfielder Fernandinho. However, the Spaniard suffered a hamstring injury in midweek against Atalanta in the Champions League.
It is not all bad news, with England international John Stones set to make his first start since mid-September.
While Guardiola is worried about how many of his players will be out, Villa coach Dean Smith can welcome back several first-team stars.
Defender James Chester is available for the first time this season, while Kortney Hause and Jonathan Kodjia are also back and ready to fight for a place in the squad. However, Smith will be without Jota as he continues to recover from a hernia operation.
City will look to cut the gap between themselves and Liverpool this weekend, with six points separating the two.
The Blues have won nine successive Premier League home games against the Villans, with their last defeat on home soil coming in April 2007.
Despite their poor form against the champions, Villa are in good form after stretching their unbeaten run to four matches last time out.