Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has provided the latest injury news on his squad with updates on Leon Bailey and Lucas Digne among others.
Villa are preparing to host Chelsea on Sunday as we look to extend our four-game unbeaten run, albeit there is still a huge amount of improvement needed to start picking up more wins having failed to neither impress nor convince in back-to-back draws.
Having built some sort of foundation now though, Gerrard will be hoping to take another step forward this weekend to pick up three points in a tough assignment against Graham Potter’s side, and he had some good news on the injury front with Bailey, Cameron Archer and Matty Cash all confirmed as available.
Gerrard on Bailey, Archer, Cash
“Leon Bailey trained yesterday so he’ll be available for the squad,” he told the media, as per VillaTV. “We need to have more conversations with the medical department to see whether he’s available from the beginning or his game time, but he’s been back since yesterday.
“Cameron Archer has still got his niggle in the background. At some point we’re going to have to address that in the future, but he’s trained again this week so Cam is available.
“Matty Cash never trained yesterday but that was just us managing him, he’ll be available.”
Whether it’s in the starting XI or off the bench, having Bailey back is an important boost given that he offers a different dynamic in the final third with his pace and directness, and so that could prove to be a useful weapon against Chelsea this weekend depending on how the game plays out.
Although he hasn’t been used enough, the fact that Archer’s groin issue isn’t severe enough to require surgery is important at this stage and so he’ll be itching for a chance on Sunday while having Cash back was a real boost against Nottingham Forest last time out after he returned from his own setback.
Naturally, Villa will have to manage his condition and ensure he doesn’t suffer any ongoing concerns, and so the fact that he’s in contention to feature this weekend is another important boost.
Digne update, recovery timeline
Meanwhile, Gerrard also provided an update on Digne and his potential return to action, with the 29-year-old French international missing the last two Premier League games with an ankle injury.
“Kamara is progressing well, Carlos is progressing well, Lucas Digne, we’re hoping we could have him back towards the end of the month, without putting a game on that.
“I’m hoping if we progress Lucas in a safe way, we could have him available at the end of the month.”
Similarly to Cash, Digne’s presence in the Villa line-up is vital given our set-up and system requires attacking quality in wide areas, and so Gerrard will certainly hope to have him back on schedule in the coming weeks with our trip to Newcastle Utd on October 29 perhaps a target game for his comeback.