Aston Villa will be without Emiliano Martinez and Emiliano Buendia when we travel to face Chelsea on September 11 once the international break concludes.
Villa bounced back from the opening-weekend loss to Watford by taking four points off Newcastle Utd and Brentford, and Dean Smith will be desperate to build on that.
After a disrupted pre-season schedule and further absentees arising this week due to both injury and Covid-related issues, it hasn’t been easy for Smith or Villa in the first few weeks of the campaign and he’ll be hoping to get a fully-fit squad together as soon as possible.
That won’t be possible straight after the break though, with Villa confirming that both Martinez and Buendia will travel to South America to report for international duty, and thus will be subject to Covid regulations on their return to the UK which requires them to self-isolate.
As per the club’s statement, the club confirm that the pair will be available for Argentina’s first two World Cup qualifiers but have agreed to sit out the last of the three games. That in turn means that they will only be unavailable vs Chelsea, but should be in line to return to face Everton the following week.
Such key players missing any games isn’t ideal, but Villa have clearly tried to reach a compromise to allow the pair to represent their country, something that they will no doubt feel very passionate about, while also minimising the amount of time they are absent for us.
Hopefully all of our players who are set to go away on International duty will come through unscathed and healthy, while Smith will also hope that those who were absent against Brentford will be at his disposal next month as we try to kick on and start putting together positive results to climb the table.