Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has revealed that Marvelous Nakamba has suffered a knee injury and we’ll be missing a couple of players due to COVID for the trip to Norwich City.
Villa will be looking to bounce back in midweek after our defeat at Liverpool on Saturday, and we’ll be aiming to do so against our former boss Dean Smith at Carrow Road.
It will certainly be a tough game as the Canaries continue to battle for safety, and there has been a double setback this week as Nakamba has been ruled out of action for the next couple of weeks while two players have been forced to isolate after testing positive for COVID.
“Marvelous Nakamba will miss the game through injury. He’s recently had an MRI scan which has confirmed a knee issue,” Gerrard told the media on Monday. “He’ll be missing this side of Christmas for sure. He’ll go and see a specialist on Tuesday, and we’ll have a further update for you then.
“He’s certainly missing tomorrow night on the back of the game at Anfield.
“We’ve got a couple of cases on the playing side and we’ve got a couple of cases, positive, on the staff side. Due to medical confidentiality, I’m not going to reveal any names
“It’s obviously not what we wanted, but we’ll have to deal with the situation and adapt. From a playing point of view, there will be opportunities for other people to come in and help us. We’ll try and prepare in the best way we can for tomorrow night’s game. We wish the people well who’ve had positive tests.”
It’s undoubtedly far from ideal preparation for the game as although the Villa squad is much stronger than it has been for years, it’s always difficult when you lose key individuals who play an important role within that group.
As for Nakamba, he has been excellent since Gerrard’s arrival and has been an ever-present in his midfield. Unfortunately for him and for Villa, he’ll now miss the next few games, but it’s hoped that the scan this week reveals no serious damage and in turn that he won’t face a prolonged spell on the sidelines.
Morgan Sanson, who has impressed in recent weeks coming off the bench, will hope to step in and replace him in the Villa midfield, while it could also open the door for Carney Chukwuemeka to get more playing time too. That said, it remains to be seen who’s missing in midweek due to COVID, as they have yet to be identified.