Aston Villa face a crunch encounter against Southampton on Friday night, and Dean Smith could be missing Danny Ings and Douglas Luiz.
The pair both sat out the defeat to West Ham last weekend, with Smith remaining vague on the reasons why by merely suggesting that there was a combination of injuries and COVID-related issues for the absentees.
It’s hoped that the Villa boss will provide more clarity on the situation when he speaks to the press on Thursday ahead of the game where he might deliver the latest updates, but reports suggest that he’ll be without two important players.
As per the Daily Mail, it’s reported that neither Ings nor Luiz are looking as though they will be able to recover in time, with the former said to be struggling with a soft tissue injury while the Brazilian midfielder is also carrying a knock.
Smith will also be without Ezri Konsa who sits out due to suspension following his red card last time out, and so that is a triple blow in a game where Villa could certainly do with a win to alleviate some of the pressure building on all concerned.
While we do have quality alternatives available, it’s also unclear if that is the full extent of the injury woes as Jacob Ramsey is also unlikely to be available after he limped off with a serious-looking ankle sprain on Sunday.
Time will tell if there is any positive news from Smith, but whoever features at St. Mary’s, the players will be aware of all the speculation and criticism that their boss has faced this week, and provided that they’re set up in a way that gives them the chance to win the game, they have to react and produce a performance.
Villa have lost four on the spin since our win over Man Utd at Old Trafford, while we’ve conceded 12 goals in those four games too. In turn, it’s time to secure a morale-boost and get back to winning ways.