Aston Villa travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle Utd on Sunday, and Steven Gerrard has provided the latest team news.
Villa were involved in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Leeds Utd in midweek, and so the squad will have been recovering from that encounter having put so much effort into a hectic back-and-forth clash.
Both Emiliano Buendia and Philippe Coutinho picked up knocks in that game and so there were question marks over their availability ahead of Gerrard’s press conference on Friday, while the Villa boss will be forced into at least one change with Ezri Konsa suspended after his red card on Wednesday night.
While there was good news on Coutinho, it seems as though Villa could be without Buendia this weekend, while there were also updates on Bertrand Traore and Leon Bailey as we hope to have the attacking duo back as soon as possible to give us additional options in the coming months.
Coutinho and Buendia updates ahead of Newcastle
“Phil’s fine. He got a bit of cramp in a few different areas and he tired a lot – he gave a lot to the game. In terms of being available for Newcastle, I’m sure he’ll be fine with a couple of recovery days,” Gerrard is quoted as saying by the club’s official site.
“Emi’s slightly different because he has had some contact, he had a big whack in his hip area which is really sore. He’s certainly a big doubt right now, but we’re hoping with some treatment and some good recovery days that maybe he’s got an outside chance.
“At the moment, he’s a serious doubt.”
Traore setback, Bailey nearing comeback
Meanwhile, Gerrard added that Traore has picked up a hamstring injury and will be out for a few weeks, while Leon Bailey is nearing a return.
That’s of course disappointing to hear that Traore has been ruled out again having been away on international duty last month at the AFCON, while it’s hoped that Villa ensure Bailey is 100 per cent ready to return to play a key role having struggled with injuries since his summer move to join us.
Time will tell what Gerrard goes with in place of Konsa and perhaps Buendia this weekend, as it promises to be a difficult encounter for us against a Newcastle side buoyed by their win over Everton in midweek as well as the positivity over the club’s ambition moving forward having been increasingly active in the transfer window last month.