Aston Villa host West Ham Utd at Villa Park on Sunday evening, and Dean Smith has provided the latest team news.
Villa will be looking to bounce back after our defeat to Arsenal last time out, which made it three consecutive losses after disappointing outcomes against Wolves and Tottenham.
In turn, Smith and the players must produce a positive reaction this weekend to end that disappointing run and get back to winning ways, as ultimately the pressure will only continue to build if results don’t go our way.
Speaking to the media ahead of the game, Smith provided the latest updates on his squad in terms of injury and availability, and there was mixed news.
“Emi Martinez will be back training with us today. He’s had some personal issues that he had to fly back home for, but he’s back today so I have no worries about his availability, Smith told the media, as per the club’s official site. “Other than that, Morgan Sanson and Jaden Philogene-Bidace are both off ill and Trezeguet is still coming back from injury.”
Smith also offered his thoughts on Leon Bailey, who came on for the second half at Arsenal to make his comeback from injury, and so Villa fans will undoubtedly be hopeful that the Jamaica international is fit enough to now start.
“We’re having to manage him carefully. He came here with no pre-season and an injury from playing international football,” Smith added. “He got injured in the Everton game and we had to wrap him up in cotton wool, so to speak. He got a good 45 minutes against Arsenal and he needed that.
“He was blowing, but he’s had a good week’s training. We’ll assess tomorrow whether he’s ready to start or not.”
Time will tell whether or not Bailey gets the green light from the medical staff to start, but it’s hoped that regardless of whether or not he does, Villa have enough quality and confidence to get the job done and secure all three points against a talented and in-form West Ham side who will certainly be difficult to beat.