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Sven wary of Villa threat

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City will need to be aware of threats all over the pitch in today’s clash with Aston Villa, according to Sven-Goran Eriksson.

The visitors won on their last visit to the City of Manchester Stadium in April, with Ashley Young and John Carew, who combined for the opening goal then, likely to feature again.

The City boss says, “They have threats all over. Carew, the centre-forward, is big, strong and has pace so he is a threat. They have good organisation in central midfield with Barry and Reo-Coker, with Reo-Coker being the one to get forward a lot more.

“I think they will create more problems with their pace on both flanks. Agobonlahor in particular is good in one-on-one situations and crosses well so if we are asleep out wide at all, they could cause us huge problems.”

Gareth Barry is flavour of the month after his outstanding performances for England last week, and the man who gave him several international cap adds:

“He should be congratulated and I’m very happy for him, he was excellent last Saturday and even better against Russia. Villa have a lot of dangerous players, but he’s a good passer, has a good shot and delivers well from free kicks and corners. I know I did not pick him many times in my previous job, but he was left back or outside left then, I think central midfield is a better role fro him.”

Sven will be forced into making a change in defence, due to Richard Dunne’s one-match suspension, but he’s pleased to have several options with some versatile defenders still to pick from.

“We have a lot of solutions, Corluka played for his last club at centre back but was right back for Croatia this week, so it might be his turn to play in there on Sunday.”

The Blues will also have a different captain when the game kicks off at 4.00pm, but the Manager would not be completely drawn as to who that will be.

“All I’ll say is that we will have a very young captain. We don’t have many old players anyway, apart from maybe Didi Hamann – but it won’t be him.”

Geovanni had resumed training by the end of the week after a slight calf injury, but for Villa, Carew is reported to be struggling after picking up a groin strain when playing for Norway last Wednesday.

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