Browsing: Jack Grealish

Centre-back Akanji has impressed in his three appearances since joining from Borussia Dortmund on deadline day earlier this month, and has managed to keep Ruben Dias, John Stones and Nathan Ake out of the team at times. His debut at Sevilla earned him praise from Guardiola, who compared his style to new teammate Aymeric Laporte and hailed the club for completing the signing.

Smith took over as Villa manager in 2018 and led the club out of the Championship and into the Premier League. They finished 11th last season but have endured a slide in the current campaign – the defeat at St Mary’s was their fifth straight loss.

Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta, back at the Etihad Stadium where he worked as an assistant between 2016 and 2019, watched in horror as his team fell apart early on, with Ilkay Gundogan and Ferran Torres giving City a 2-0 lead inside 12 minutes.

After catching the eye in the final group game against Czech Republic, a performance for which he won UEFA’s ‘Star of the match’ award, Saka will hope to retain his place in the starting line-up for the eagerly-anticipated last-16 clash at Wembley on Tuesday.

Named in Gareth Southgate’s starting lineup for the Euro 2020 warm-up friendly against Austria, Saka shone at the Riverside Stadium as the Arsenal youngster made a strong case for minutes at this summer’s tournament.

Having suffered four defeats in five matches, Palace are in need of a win to boost their chances of finishing no lower than 13th position.

The champions were on the end of a 7-2 humiliation in the reverse fixture at Villa Park in October – one of nine defeats they have suffered this season to leave them playing catch-up in the top-four race.

The 25-year-old England international was sentenced at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, after previously pleading guilty to two charges, including one linked to the incident in which his 4×4 hit two parked vehicles in Dickens Heath, Solihull, West Midlands.

Bukayo Saka’s own goal opened the scoring for the visitors, who could have run up an even more flattering score as John McGinn saw a goal harshly ruled out by VAR and Jack Grealish was denied by a goal-line clearance from Dani Ceballos.

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The result left Villa, who narrowly avoided relegation from the top flight last season, fourth on a maximum six points from two games, while promoted Fulham are bottom with no points after a third successive defeat.