Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has been handed a major boost ahead of our clash with West Ham Utd this weekend as he has an almost full-strength squad available.
Villa host the Hammers on Sunday afternoon looking to improve our recent league form having lost two of our opening three Premier League encounters this season.
With our midweek win over Bolton Wanderers in the Carabao Cup hopefully boosting confidence and belief, the focus now must be on building on that and putting together a strong run of form to build momentum.
As per Gerrard, via the club’s official site, he’ll be boosted by the fact that he has an almost fully fit squad at his disposal, with left-back Ludwig Augustinsson shaking off a knee injury to return to training this week.
That in turn leaves Diego Carlos as our only long-term absentee, and while that is certainly a huge blow after the Brazilian underwent surgery on his ruptured Achilles tendon, Villa know we now face an extended period without him and must find solutions in his absence.
“Obviously, everyone is well aware of Diego and Kortney (Hause) moving on, Gerrard said. “We’re fully fit. Ludwig has trained today, he missed midweek with a bit of a tweak in his knee area but he’s fine.
“So we should be healthy going into the weekend. We’ve obviously got tomorrow’s session to go prior to the game, so fingers crossed we should be healthy.”
This will undoubtedly be a tough assignment and a big test for both Gerrard and the Villa players given the quality that West Ham possess, and we mustn’t be fooled by their own poor start to the Premier League season as they are much better than what they’ve shown thus far.
In turn, that’s why it’s crucial we have depth and options across the squad this weekend, as if things don’t go to plan initially for Gerrard and his set-up for the game, we’ll have the flexibility and alternatives on the bench to change things if necessary.