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Pep Guardiola made major Manchester City pre-match change ahead of Aston Villa Premier League victory



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola made a major change to the squad’s pre-match routine for Wednesday’s Premier League win over Aston Villa.

The 53-year-old saw his Manchester City squad emphatically bounce back from consecutive Premier League draws in midweek, as Phil Foden’s hat-trick inspired the Sky Blues to a 4-1 win over Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium.

City, who remain three points adrift of league leaders Liverpool, returned to winnings ways following back-to-back draws against both Arsenal and Liverpool in the Premier League.

Foden’s third career hat-trick helped Manchester City to a 4-1 win, with the Englishman scoring three goals, after Jhon Duran cancelled out Rodri’s 11th minute opening goal in east Manchester.

The 23-year-old restored the Blues’ lead with a free-kick late in the first-half, prior to scoring two glorious goals in second-half, to secure a vital three points for Guardiola’s side.

Foden retained his place in the City starting side for the win over Villa, despite Guardiola making a number of changes from Sunday’s draw with Arsenal, as both Erling Haaland and Kevin De Bruyne dropped to the bench.

Rico Lewis was handed a 15th start of the season, meanwhile Jack Grealish and Jeremy Doku also started for Manchester City.

Guardiola also made a major pre-match change ahead of Wednesday’s win over Villa, with the Catalan reportedly holding an additional first-team training session on the morning of the match.

Jack Gaughan reports that Guardiola called his players into training at the City Football Academy for a morning session before Wednesday’s win, with players undertaking additional tactical work following Sunday’s performance against Arsenal.

The Manchester City squad were dismissed following the training session, before returning to the CFA ahead of travelling to the Etihad Stadium for kick-off on Wednesday night.

Guardiola’s squad are in action again on Saturday afternoon, facing Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park in the Premier League, where the Cityzens can move ahead of Arsenal and level on points with Liverpool with a victory.