Villa are now entering their final preparations for a genuine must win game against Everton at Goodison Park this Thursday evening (16th July | Kick Off 18:00 GMT).
Villa overcame Crystal Palace (2-0) at Villa Park at the weekend, but picked up a couple of fresh injury concerns in the process.
You can find our advance Everton Preview Here as well as the very latest injury news from B6 below.
The Welsh full-back has quietly gone about his business whilst deputising for the injured Matt Targett.
Even in the early stages of Villa’s essential victory over Crystal Palace (2-0), Taylor made a vital interception when the otherwise dependable Tyrone Mings was caught napping.
However, Taylor broke down not long afterwards and despite receiving treatment following a break in play at the side of the pitch, was unable to continue.
Matt Targett, himself barely back from injury, replaced Taylor after just 8 minutes.
It transpires that Taylor suffered a hamstring injury (not the first time) and is reported to be a major doubt against Everton. Given that he couldn’t continue just a matter of days ago and the nature of the injury involved, makes the prospect of him featuring extremely remote.
Targett’s return from an identical injury went well against Palace, but he himself has been afforded little time to properly recuperate. It is far from ideal.
However, given Villa’s predicament and that Kortney Hause also withdrew on Sunday, expect Targett to return to the starting XI, if only due to the lack of recognised alternative cover.
The former Wolves defender didn’t even make the last game having been forced to withdraw just minutes prior to kick-off.
Hause injured in the warm-up – Elmohamady brought in for #AVFC
Konsa moves to centre half, his natural position. https://t.co/tj104WoZqs
— Villa Underground (@avfc_vilr) July 12, 2020
This prompted Dean Smith to make a big call at short notice, opting to bring in experienced Egyptian international Ahmed Elmohamady as a last minute replacement.
Hause, who had been partnering Mings at centre half in Bjorn Engels’ absence, has suffered an oblique injury.
These strains, affecting the core muscles, can vary in recovery time (dependent upon severity) and may take a matter of days to up to four months to heal. Hopefully it’s not the latter.
Hause is therefore not expected to feature at Goodison Park.
Smith will be again faced with the question of how to restructure Villa’s defence, the second leakiest behind Norwich’s in the Premier League.
Ezri Konsa was previously moved from right back to partner Mings, which is a switch we might reasonably expect to see replicated against Everton. The centre-back role is Konsa’s recognised position afterall. We must then decide between Elmo and Guilbert at right-back.
Guilbert has not of course featured since the league’s resumption due to a troublesome knee complaint, thus match fitness is a obvious concern.
Based upon the importance of the fixture, Elmohamady will likely be preferred, bringing a raft of experience as well as a proven threatening delivery into the box from open play.
AND THE REST
Tom Heaton and Wesley are out for the remainder of the campaign with ACL injuries. They definitely won’t take any part.
Bjorn Engels remains a puzzle, the Belgian is plagued by an achilles problem and hasn’t been seen at all during Villa’s run in. He’ll not feature on Thursday night either.
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