Manchester City vs Aston Villa and Sunderland vs WBA, Premier League Gameweek 37: Open Thread

After 37 weeks of Premier League soccer, Manchester City has a chance to put the fate of its Premier League title chances in its hands with a win today against Aston Villa. A draw may be good enough too, but all 3 points will push City two points ahead of Liverpool with just one game to go after today.

Meanwhile, Liverpool supporters will be hoping that Aston Villa – who have nothing left to play for after guaranteeing Premier League safety this past weekend — can muster a win or, at the very least, a draw at the Etihad Stadium.

But realistically, a win for Aston Villa is probably the only likely result that will put Liverpool back in the driving seat to win the title. Talk about pressure on City!

At the same time, Sunderland has an opportunity to put its fate in its own hands too. A win by the Black Cats today will put the club in pole position to get a avoid relegation on the final day of the Premier League season this Sunday.

Here is today’s TV/Internet schedule for matches being shown in the US (including commentators):

Wednesday, May 7:

Manchester City vs Aston Villa, 2:45pm, NBCSN
Sunderland vs West Brom, 2:45pm, Premier League Extra Time

Starting line-ups

Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (C), Demichelis, Kolarov, Garcia, Yaya Toure, Milner, Silva, Nasri, Dzeko

Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Richards, Clichy, Fernandinho, Negredo, Jovetic

Aston Villa: Guzan, Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Baker, Bertrand, Westwood, Delph, El Ahmadi, Weimann, Bowery

Subs: Steer, Bacuna, Sylla, Holt, Robinson, Grealish, Tonev


Sunderland: Mannone, Vergini, Alonso, Brown, O’Shea (c), Cattermole, Colback, Larsson, Johnson, Borini, Wickham.

Subs: Bardsley, Altidore, Ba, Giaccherini, Bridcutt, Scocco, Ustari.

West Brom: Foster, Reid, McAuley, Lugano, Brunt, Berahino, Yacob, Morrison, Dorrans, Sessegnon, Anichebe.

Subs: Myhill (gk), Dawson, Sinclair, Vydra, Mulumbu, Olsson, O’Neil

Before, during or after today’s matches, join the conversation in the comments section below with fellow soccer fans from around the world.

35 thoughts on “Manchester City vs Aston Villa and Sunderland vs WBA, Premier League Gameweek 37: Open Thread”

  1. Why is Garcia starting over Fernandinho again? Pelligrini has team playing attractive football but team selections have left questions in my opinion.

  2. To make the final day really interesting let’s hope Villa get a draw or win. Even a City win does not rule out Liverpool mathematically but it would be almost impossible for City to lose the title as they are at home to West Ham who are not very good away and a draw would give City the title regardless of how Liverpool do against Newcastle. Stranger things have happened but let’s see how today’s game plays out first.

    West Brom are practically safe from relegation as they are 3 points ahead of Norwich who have a much worse goal difference (19 goals) while Sunderland are 2 points ahead of Norwich with a better goal difference (13 goals). So the only realistic way for Norwich to avoid relegation is for Sunderland to lose their last two games. Anything but a Sunderland loss today and the last day won’t be interesting at the bottom unless you think Norwich can beat Arsenal by a bucket-full of goals.

  3. Games like this require wingers that can actually beat the fullback on a 1 v 1 basis. Someone needs to run at the fullbacks with pace and put the fear of god in him inside the box and draw some contact for a penalty.

  4. Nil – Nil at the half. My goodness! Is Man City just toying with the Liverpool fan base?

    One goal away from Liverpool staying atop… also one goal away from Liverpool being in second.

  5. So Liverpool fans (and many neutrals) will be hoping that West Ham United can beat Manchester City on Sunday while Liverpool beats Newcastle. That’s the only way now that Liverpool will be able to win the title.

    1. Maybe West Ham can provide Man City with some of that special lasagna they shared with Tottenham a few years back.

    2. Andy Carroll will score a hat trick to destroy City and Liverpool win 16-0 at Newcastle. Who’s with me? Brenda?

  6. Toure is getting all the plaudits at City, as well as Silva from our own fans (Silva is underrated by the national media), but Dzeko has been absolutely immense for us the second half of this season. With Aguero perennially injured and Negredo suddenly forgetting how to play football, he has had to step up and boy has he done just that.

    1. I agree Dezko has been the unsung hero of our season. So glad Spells has shown faith in him, faith he has repaid in spades.

  7. Oh well, City are now in total control of the title. There’s no way they will lose to West Ham to give Liverpool a chance. The last day wont be interesting anymore. Unless fat Sam can come up with a winning formula. Not likely.

    Sundeland winning means Norwich are essentailly relegated so no drama at the bottom either.

  8. The commentary for the Real Madrid match is absolutely horrible. They are mixing two feeds at the same time.

  9. Brazil has just announced their world cup squad and neither Lucas nor Coutinho are in it. They miss out on the title and now this disappointment. All the Chelsea Brazilians are in it. Lucas Moura of PSG was also left out as was Kaka(this one’s not really a surprise).

    1. Fernandinho took Lucas’ place. Hard to argue with that decision as Fernandinho has been far better this season.

      1. I agree with that. Fernandinho has been very instrumental in keeping Ciy’s shape in the middle and Toure benefited from it as well. Surprised that Willian was chosen though as I didn’t think he was very good for Chelsea.

          1. He hasnt been great for Spurs but he fits into their system well and is a regular on the national team. Tore it up at the Confed Cup last year.

    1. Yeah i was hoping wed never have to deal with them. Little buggers take 3-5 pts off us every season.

  10. What an epic collapse by Norwich. If Fulman had hired Magath instead Rene, they probably wouldn’t have gotten relegated.

  11. NBCSN just announced the games for Sunday —- CNBC for Cardiff, E for Fulham, Bravo for Hull, NBCSN for Liverpool, NBC for MC, Man U on Syfy, Sunderland on Esquire, Spurs on USA, and WBA on Oxygen

    1. Logical choices made with having the most important games on the ‘major networks’ – NBC & NBCSN for the title race along, USA for Tottenham’s EURO Cup fate decider & MSNBC for Norwich’s final game in the EPL (for at least a year). If Man City had drawn/lost tonight, CNBC showing the Chelsea game would have been a good choice too.

      Although to take the piss for a minute, Syfy’s motto is ‘Imagine Greater’. The irony of the Man Utd game being on that network & what they were hoping for this season is priceless

      1. If only Comcast owned Comedy Central….there’s a couple of EPL clubs that would have been ideal for that channel

  12. Meanwhile Real Madrid concede a late equaliser to Valladolid (who beat or drew Barça earlier this season), effectively ending their treble hopes. Door wide open for Barca again despite their constant choking.

    1. Losing Ronaldo early and having no Bale put Madrid behind the 8 ball. Don’t know who’s on fire more, Sergio Ramos or Edin Dzeko. It should come down to that final winner take all match at Camp Nou

  13. Have to say I like how Pellegrini has gone about his business. No fuss, no nonsense and no mind games. Just sets his team up well and let’s them play to their strengths. City fans must prefer this to the chaos of Mancini. If he had any help, getting dumped out of the champions league early seemed to galvanize the squad to overcome Liverpool. They’ve come a long way since losing to Wigan in the Cup. It’s no more taxi for Pellegrini, moe that Lamborghini they’re always singing about.

    1. Whole-heartedly agree that Pellegrini has been just right for City, and while we will always appreciate Mancini for bringing the silverware back, it’s nice to have a calm presence over drama. If the lads can finish the deal on Sunday, what a great accomplishment it would be: 2 in three years and a first title managing in Europe for Pellegrini.

    2. The lambourghini song is actually in favour of Pellegrini:

      Sheikh Mansour went to Spain in a Lambourghini
      Brought us back a manager, Manuel Pellegrini!

      Now, a bit of perspective on your point: Ive been a Pellegrini doubter all season and ive got to give it up to him. Hes done a great job at motivating the players, and several of them have markedly improved under him. Even Javi Garcia and Aleksander Kolarov are slightly-above-useless suddenly.

      However his in-game management and team selection has been frustrating at times. Headscratching substitutions, way too much 4-4-2 (it sometimes worked but sometimes played right into opponents’ hands), and it took him til halfway thru the season to realise that James Milner is a very useful player.
      And im still not coming to grips with letting Gareth Barry go.
      I just wonder if in upcoming seasons, when we need the manager to “win one”, if hes got what it takes. But i hope he proves me wrong there too.

      And THAT is what i miss about Mancini. For all his drama, the man was a football genius (and not in the manner of David Moyes). His tactics were spot on and flexible. He rotated the squad brilliantly. He wasnt afraid to put on a defensive midfielder when we needed a goal because it allowed a formation change that had a better chance of working, etc. We could play possession, we could play in tight spaces, we could play on the counter, he wasnt afraid to “park the bus”. Unfortunately the board and a couple players got tired of his attitude and after the loss to Wigan we knew it was inevitable that he was gone.

      So all in all, yes, Pellegrini has been great, but PLEASE dont try to say which is better, him or Mancini, because they both did different things right that the other one didnt.

      1. Well, my friend Fly, we will just have to agree to disagree. If you believe in the project that Khaldoon Al-Mubarak — and now Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano — are building, it is clear that Pellegrini is a much better fit than Mancini was. I’m all for the ability to play stout defense, but Mancini was maddeningly frustrating at times when he all but shackled his forwards. But playing style and tactics are almost besides the point, because I truly believe that Pellegrini, in his way, is just as much of a genius as Mancini. I mean, he’s a point away from winning the title IN HIS FIRST YEAR! What’s really important is the way he goes about his business — as I said before, very little drama. Compare the mindset of Nasri, Dzeko, even Clichy and Toure. No pouting under Pellegrini because he is even-keeled and treats them like adults. Raise your hand if you truly believed anyone could get anything out of Martin Demichellis this year! I certainly didn’t but Pellegrini connected with him and the guy has turned out to be invaluable for the run-in (even if he occasionally still makes a major error — witness the Lukaku goal last Sunday). As I said before, I will always have a special place in my heart for Roberto Mancini but at this point in the club’s development, with Manuel Pellegrini at the helm, the professor is in charge of the class.

  14. I am glad City got the win. I was sweating bullets in that first half. I have to publicly apologize to Dzeko for all the horrible names I called him last season and the first half of this season. He has more than made up for it.

    Let’s just remember that this ain’t over yet. Only need a point, BUT….well, I don’t have to walk a walk down memory lane, now do I.

  15. City have one hand on the tropy and the other is touching it. Pellegrini deserves a lot of credit in getting City to play with patience. The players have imitated their maager’s calmness. Today they were patient in geting their first goal and didn’t panic. At Liverpool down by 2 goals they were again patient and got to level the score and could have even taken the lead.

    Liverpool lost the title against Chelsea because they were impatient and kept shooting from distance and went into panic mode.

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