Aston Villa boss Unai Emery has confirmed that he expects to have players featuring in the World Cup, including Emiliano Martinez, available against Brighton this weekend.
After leading his side to a victory in his first game in charge against Man Utd last weekend, Villa suffered disappointment in the Carabao Cup on Thursday night after losing at Old Trafford.
With just one game remaining before the World Cup break, Emery and all concerned will want to sign off on a positive note and so it’s hoped that we’re at full strength for what will be a difficult test against Roberto De Zerbi’s in-form side.
Speaking to reporters after our defeat to Utd, Emery was asked if everyone would be available for the game this weekend, specifically Martinez, with suggestions that Argentina wanted to call up their players early for a pre-tournament camp.
Fortunately, Emery has confirmed that he expects all of his players to be available on Sunday, and so it’s hoped that they all feature and play a key role in guiding us to three important points.
“Yes, I think (our World Cup players) are going to be available on Sunday to play,” he told the media, as per VillaTV. “We need them and we are happy because the players playing in the World Cup is amazing for them and you have to respect the national team and the individual performance of them but, Sunday, we are playing a very important match and those three points, for us, are important to get behind us.”
Aside from Martinez, Leander Dendoncker has been called up by Belgium, while both Matty Cash and Jan Bednarek will feature for Poland.
Based on Emery’s comments above, they should also all be available for selection this weekend, but it’s Martinez who is arguably the most important given how pivotal he is for us between the posts, both in terms of his goalkeeping ability but also his leadership.
With back-up Robin Olsen struggling in midweek and looking quite vulnerable, it’s imperative that we have our No.1 leading from the back at the Amex Stadium, and it would appear as though that will indeed be the case in a major boost for Villa.