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Pep Guardiola must recall Man City midfielder v Aston Villa [Opinion]


Pep Guardiola dropped Kevin De Bruyne in Manchester City’s 1-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday but would have been impressed with his second-half performance after coming off the bench, so the 31-year-old will surely start against Aston Villa in Sunday’s Premier League clash.

De Bruyne created more chances as a substitute than all his teammates managed from the first minute, so the Belgian international can’t afford to be left out again. No player in Europe’s top-five leagues has more assists (11) and has created more chances (3.3) than De Bruyne this season, so it’s a no-brainer.

The 31-year-old has made 28 appearances in all competitions this campaign, scoring three goals with 17 assists. De Bruyne has been called out by his manager for a lack of goals and has been dropped a couple of times for poor form (1 assists in 8 PL games between mid-October and mid-January).

But as City’s chief playmaker who made a difference in the Tottenham defeat, Guardiola can’t ignore the obvious. De Bruyne is such an important player who could help cut through Villa’s defence on Sunday. The Belgian starting improves Erling Haaland’s chances of scoring too.

In other news, Pep Guardiola should start Nathan Ake at left-back v Aston Villa

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He joined from Newcastle in 2000 and left to join FC Sochaux in 2003

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Sports journalist who is an avid football fan, enjoys debunking transfer rumours, loves to write pieces about players out in the cold and takes a large amount of pride getting a predicted XI 100% correct.