The sack watch is on for Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa. Only one side, the selling-off club that is Leicester City, are below them in the standings. And now Stevie G. has to host juggernaut of juggernauts, Erling Haaland and Manchester City. The Nordic Meat Shield is coming off back to back hat tricks, with the potential for third one tomorrow night is actually quite high. It’s only five games, sure, but Haaland is on pace for about 70-71 goals this season.
The all-time record for the English top flight is Dixie Dean, who scored 60 goals for Everton in 1927-28. What an amazing time for storied individual record chasing in sports. Aaron Judge, of the New York Yankees, is closing on Major League Baseball’s pre-steroid era (so some would say is the “real”) home run record. He has 51 homers right now, and is on pace to finish with 63, two ahead of Roger Maris’ 61 in 1961. It would be great to see both records fall.
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Manchester City at Aston Villa FYIs
Kick off: 7:45pm, Saturday Sept 3, Villa Park
Team news for both sides: go here
PL Position: Man City 2nd, 13 pts Aston Villa 19th, 3pts
Form Guide: Man City WWDWW Aston Villa LLLWL
Google Result Probability: Man City 73% Aston Villa 11% Draw 16%
Haaland starts each and every non-cup competitive match. Here’s the rest of the team sheet prediction
Manchester City Starting XI Prediction at Aston Villa:
Ederson; Cancelo, Stones, Dias, Walker; B. Silva, De Bruyne; Foden, Alvarez, Grealish; Haaland
Prediction: City 4, Aston Villa 0
It’ll “only” be a brace this time, not a hat trick, for Haaland.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him and the website on Twitter and Instagram.
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