"He is clearly not up for it" "Coutinho Scoring!" - Manchester City fans nervous about club legend's role ahead of clash against Aston Villa

Manchester City fans express concern regarding Pep Guardiola's team selection
Manchester City fans express concern regarding Pep Guardiola's team selection
Jack Spedding

Manchester City host Aston Villa in their final Premier League game of the season, knowing that a victory would seal a fourth league title in five years. Failure to beat Steven Gerrard's Villans would leave the door open for Liverpool to steal the crown, provided they beat Wolves at Anfield.

The Cityzens are looking to bounce back from their 2-2 draw at West Ham last time out to retain their championship and end Liverpool's quadruple dreams.

📋 TEAM NEWS IS IN! 📋XI | Ederson, Stones, Fernandinho (C), Laporte, Cancelo, Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Mahrez, Foden, Jesus.SUBS | Carson, Walker, Ake, Sterling, Gundogan, Grealish, Zinchenko, Palmer, McAtee.#ManCity | @HaysTechnology

Ahead of the clash at the Etihad Stadium, Pep Guardiola named his Manchester City starting XI, with John Stones and Phil Foden coming into the side to replace Oleksandr Zinchenko and former Villa captain Jack Grealish.

Due to the host's numerous defensive injury issues, Fernandinho retains his place in the back four in what will be his final game for the club. The 37-year-old will leave Manchester City when his contract expires this summer, but his selection at the heart of the defense has caused concern amongst the City fanbase.

The Brazilian international has won countless honors during his time in English football, but was caught out on numerous occasions against West Ham in his previous game, leading many to believe he should not be starting games.

Here are some of the best reactions to Fernandinho's start against Villa:

Philippe Coutinho to Score today.Seeing a Stones and Fernandinho pairing gives me joy!🥰
Fernandinho’s final game means City bottle
stop using fernandinho as a CB, he’s clearly not up for it 😭😭…
What’s with pep lately and this Fernandinho fetish? The guy stubbornness is the only thing holding city back
@JesusRoIe Daaah fernandinho does not deserve to start
Fernandinho vs Watkins
I am worried for Fernandinho. Have Pep really started him for sentiment on the title decider?

Pep Guardiola claims his Manchester City players have no reason to be nervous

Villa haven't beaten any of the current top five in the Premier League this term and have lost their previous eight encounters with the Sky Blues.

These statistics make it very unlikely that the Midlands club will spoil the City party this afternoon, with manager Guardiola urging his players to stay calm ahead of the monumental Etihad clash.

The Spaniard told a pre-game press conference, as quoted by Sky Sports:

"I've said to our players, it's just a football game. Don't think about how happy or sad we'd be, just focus on what we have to do to beat Aston Villa. Having one more title, or one less one, that's important but it's just a football game.
"Focus on will they play [Ollie] Watkins or [Danny] Ings or just Watkins. Douglas Luiz as a holding midfielder as a three or four [midfielders]? Is John McGinn moving inside or outside. Will they play [Phillipe] Coutinho and [Emiliano] Buendia together? This is what we have to do to win the game.
"I have a feeling we will do things incredibly well. We have not been here many times in our history but we have to be anxious or nervous? No way. Just try to enjoy and suffer the moment."
This is your Aston Villa team to face Manchester City this afternoon. 👊 #MCIAVL

Edited by Vishal Subramanian


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