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Preview: Garde takes charge with the biggest possible challenge

Rémi Garde has a tough task in his first match as Aston Villa manager as Manchester City visits B6.

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Manchester City are good.

Aston Villa… are not.

Good luck, Rémi Garde!

What to know about Aston Villa

Jordan Ayew is a good footballer.

In the last three games, he’s scored, won a penalty and scored. Three games, three direct contributions to goals.

Can we start him, please?

In reality, it’s tough to say too much about Villa — and I feel I say that a lot, but it’s particularly true. Sunday offers our first glimpse at what new man Rémi Garde is going to do with this squad. Carles Gil also looked good Monday night at White Hart Lane, but you never know what a new manager’s going to see.

I’m hoping we see a dynamic, pace-filled side Sunday against City, especially given the task that’s at hand.

If you think back to two years ago, Villa hit perfectly on the counterattack to win 3-2 — a similar performance will be required to get something from this one.

What to know about Manchester City

There’s some midfielder who used to play for Villa at City, apparently, but I thought James Milner left for Liverpool?

Anyway, they’re very, very good.

Kevin de Bruyne has been an excellent acquisition for the Cityzens, and with him coming off the bench midweek in the Champions League, I’d be shocked if he isn’t in the starting XI for Manuel Pellegrini’s side this week.

Add in Raheem Sterling and Yaya Touré, and Villa will have their hands full Sunday at Villa Park — Garde catches a break, as he won’t have to deal with David Silva and Sergio Agüero.

Regardless, this is another match where no matter what Villa do, they’ll need their opponents off their game to snatch even a point.

The odds

Bovada: Villa 13/2, City 2/5, Draw 77/20
Paddy Power: Villa 7/1, City 2/5, Draw 15/4
SkyBet: Villa 6/1, City 2/5, Draw 15/4

The prediction

I’d typically be super cynical, but I’ve got a decent feeling about this one.

Ayew and Scott Sinclair hit on the counterattack as Villa snatch a point.

Aston Villa 2, Manchester City 2