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Pep Guardiola should start Man City defender at left-back v Aston Villa [Opinion]


Manchester City host Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon and Pep Guardiola has some decisions to make about his defence.

The Sky Blues have conceded two or more goals in two of their last four league games while keeping just two clean sheets since October, so it might be sensible for Guardiola to avoid square pegs in round roles wherever possible.

Joao Cancelo joining Bayern Munich on loan until the end of the season leaves Pep with Nathan Ake, Aymeric Laporte and Sergio Gomez who can operate in the role, so the former of the trio should probably get the nod.

Ake has made 23 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring two goals. The 27-year-old has turned his City career around after coming close to joining Chelsea last summer. He’s now indispensable under Guardiola and has shone in two defensive roles.

Ake has been at left-back for four of City’s last seven league games, winning three and drawing one. He’s been at centre-back for the remaining three games and City have lost twice. So Pep should put him back out on the left where he’s impressed recently and hope less tinkering will yield a result against Villa.

In other news, Ilkay Gundogan defends Erling Haaland after Jamie Carragher criticism

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

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