Micah Richards has said that Manchester City’s title-winning cohort may have to carry Jack Grealish through in his first experience of final-day drama.
City are gunning for a fourth title in five years and need to beat Aston Villa on Sunday to triumph once again. However, just like in previous seasons, Liverpool are chasing Pep Guardiola’s side all the way.
The Reds are a point behind City and will likely have to beat Wolves to have a chance of finishing top.
Man City edged Liverpool out by a point in the 2018/19 season. The likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling all played in the 4-1 win at Brighton on that occasion.
However, Sunday will be summer signing Grealish’s first taste of potential final-day drama. What’s more, he is facing former club Villa following his £100million departure.
As a result, Richards – who won the Premier League with City in 2012 and 2014 – has insisted City may have to help Grealish through the game.
“It’s difficult because these boys have already won the Premier League,” the pundit told the Evening Standard.
“Jack Grealish hasn’t so he may be a little more nervous than the others in the squad.
“But the night before we weren’t really that nervous because, no disrespect… but it was QPR [in 2012]. But then on the day it dawned on me that QPR needed to survive.
“So throughout the game it got more tense. But it’s more for the new players, especially Grealish who will be up against his old club as well, which may make it more difficult.”
Richards reveals Man City mindset
Richards remained on the bench for the dramatic 3-2 win over QPR, clinched by Sergio Aguero, that won City the league. However, he opened up on the mindset in the camp.
“Where we were sat, the fans were there behind us and they kept letting us know every score – we didn’t want to know though because it just became more stressful as the game went on,” the 33-year-old said.
“Especially when we were losing, we thought we had blown it. You always have a look at half-time to see how the other team’s doing but I think Liverpool will win so it’s just about Man City having to win.
“There’s no room for error. Liverpool have had an unbelievable season, getting that many points it will be tough on them if they don’t clinch it. But City will deserve it if they go on and win it.”
Grealish, City want to avoid drama
City have been in strong goalscoring form of late and will hope to carry that on against Villa. They have scored four or more goals in three of their past four Premier League games.
As such, they will be raring to go and it will be tough for Villa to nick anything off the reigning champions.
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Indeed, City have been through this before and came through. In fact, they conceded the first goal against Brighton before coming back in style to win 4-1.
Villa will hope the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Danny Ings can get at the City defence. However, it looks a tall order given the experience within Guardiola’s ranks.