Ahead of our friendly with Villarreal on Thursday, the Aston Villa squad were back to work at Bodymoor Heath this week and there were some interesting sights in training.
Villa faced Brighton and Chelsea in friendlies during our warm-weather training camp in UAE as we keep busy over the World Cup break, but with our return to Premier League action fast approaching, Unai Emery and the players will step up preparations over the next week or so.
Ideally, the Villa boss would want a full squad at his disposal as he looks to build on the positive start he made prior to the break, but he has unfortunately had to deal with absentees and those returning from injury.
In the latest video of training released by Villa this week, there was no sign of Emiliano Buendia nor Jacob Ramsey in the group work, and so it’s hoped that it’s either precautionary or slight niggles that are keeping them out.
However, as seen in the images below, there was more positive news with Philippe Coutinho returning to group training while compatriot Diego Carlos continues to step up his recovery from a ruptured Achilles tendon in the gym.
Further, Matty Cash has reported back after his World Cup exploits earlier than expected and so that will come as a real boost for Villa and Emery, while there was finally a sighting of Morgan Sanson working on his fitness away from the group, after the Frenchman missed the trip to Dubai and Abu Dhabi last week.
It’s hoped that he is now on his way back to full fitness in order to be in contention for a place in the side in the second half of the season, and the same goes for both Coutinho and Carlos too.
Time will tell when they will re-enter the fold, but for now, there is a lot of excitement about seeing Villa back in action as we look to pick up from where we left off when we host Liverpool at Villa Park on December 26.
— Talk Villa (@thetalkvilla) December 14, 2022