BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 5, 2021: Aston Villa's manager Steven Gerrard (L) celebrates with double goal-scorer Ezri Konsa after the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Leicester City FC at Villa Park. Aston Villa won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Aston Villa dealt major injury blow ahead of Man City title decider

In a twist of fate, Liverpool’s title hopes now rely partly on Steven Gerrard‘s Aston Villa, who have been dealt a major injury setback ahead of final day at Man City.

It had been joked about ever since Gerrard was confirmed as manager, but now, Sunday will see Liverpool host Wolves knowing they also need Villa to get a result to clinch the title.

With Man City holding a one-point lead heading into the final weekend, the Reds must see off their opponents while also hoping Villa can either win or draw at the Etihad.

City were held to a 2-2 draw at West Ham last weekend, keeping the title race alive, but are still strong favourites to take the three points.

Villa’s situation is made more difficult by the fact they play Burnley on Thursday night, less than three days before their campaign closer, and also after the news of Ezri Konsa’s injury.

Konsa suffered a knee injury in the 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace at the weekend, and it has been now confirmed that he will miss up to 16 weeks.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Emi Martinez also has a “small issue” ahead of the clash with Burnley, though speaking in his pre-match press conference on Wednesday, Gerrard expressed hope that he was “going to pull through.”

Leon Bailey is also expected to miss out due to an ongoing foot injury, while defender Kortney Hause is a long-term absentee.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 11, 2021: Aston Villa's manager Steven Gerrard during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Aston Villa FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Villa have been in decidedly mixed form since Gerrard took over in November, with 10 wins, four draws and 11 losses from 25 league games, but have been in reasonable shape on the road in recent weeks.

They have won four of their last eight away games, drawing another – their defeats coming by one-goal margins at Newcastle, West Ham and Wolves.

The 2-1 loss to Man City at Villa Park in December was the first time Gerrard had dropped points with the club, producing an impressive display despite their defeat.

In Konsa’s absence, Villa are likely to see Calum Chambers partner Tyrone Mings at centre-back. Though Martinez is expected to start against Burnley, ex-Everton loanee Robin Olsen is his deputy.