Dean Smith wary of ‘smarting’ Manchester City

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Nick Mashiter, PA
·2-min read
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Dean Smith has warned Aston Villa to be wary of a Manchester City backlash.

Villa host the Premier League leaders on Wednesday after City’s hopes of a historic quadruple collapsed.

Saturday’s 1-0 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea means Pep Guardiola’s side cannot complete a clean sweep of trophies this season.

They face Tottenham in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday and Smith expects City to be wounded at Villa Park.

He said: “The fact they got beaten by Chelsea which stopped the history-making quadruple means they will be smarting. Pep will be, he is a winner and he will want to win this game against us and then go with a winning mentality into the Carabao Cup final.

“We have to match them in leg work, we have to work extremely hard, they are very good with or without the football.

“I went to the semi final and I thought Chelsea were excellent against them. They restricted them to a few chances and if you can do that then, with the ball, you can get chances against them, it’s hard but we’ve seen seen it.

“All teams have some kind of weakness, it’s up to you to find them. We have a belief in what we do and hopefully we can go and play a good competitive game against what I believe is one of the best teams in Europe, if not the world.”

Villa are 11th in the Premier League but their European hopes have been hit after just one win in their last six games.

Morgan Sanson (knee) and Trezeguet (knee) are out with Jack Grealish (shin) still a number of weeks away from a return after two months out.

Smith added: “I did say it would be a few weeks before we got him (Grealish) back out again. We are still waiting for him to get back out on the grass. He is itching to get in and we want him back.

“I don’t know (when he will return), I’m hoping it’ll be in the next few weeks. He is pain free now but we don’t want to take the risk of making it angry again, which we did last time when he pushed to come back a little too quickly.”