Aston Villa Injury News: Pepe REINA, Matt TARGETT, Frederic GUILBERT & Bjorn ENGELS

As Villa prepare for a must-win game against Crystal Palace (Kick off 14:15 GMT), here are the latest injury updates from Villa Park:

BJORN ENGELS

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The Belgian will again miss out with either Hause or Konsa (possibly redeployed) at centre half.

Smith’s preferred centre-half partner for Tyrone Mings hasn’t featured since the Premier League’s restart and is hampered by an ongoing achilles problem.

FREDERIC GUILBERT

Guilbert has been available for selection for the last couple of weeks but hasn’t featured.

Whilst Konsa has done well in spells at right back, the fact is that Villa have conceded many of their restart goals from down this flank.  It’s undeniably been an area of weakness that opposition sides have repeatedly exploited.

It was therefore a surprise to see 2 recognised match-fit rightbacks, Guilbert and Elmohamady, benched for the Man Utd game.

Guilbert has had a long rehabilitation from a knee injury, having to follow a bespoke programme during lockdown.

Whilst the Frenchman has shown patchy form at times for Villa, he does provide us with better defensive cover at right back as well as a genuine attacking option going forward.

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MATT TARGETT

Targett went down in the early stages of the Wolves (0-1) defeat at Villa Park and was expected to miss at least 3 weeks.

The £11.5m signing from Southampton has suffered repeated hamstring complaints, but has at least recovered from the latest and is available for selection.

Neil Taylor, definitely a Marmite player amongst supporters, has done little to disgrace himself at left back in Targett’s absence.  Smith may be tempted to leave things as they are, with Targett struggling for form prior to injury.

The Villa defence, whilst the leakiest in the league overall, had statistically improved since lockdown ended.  However, with the likelihood of Guilbert back in consideration, Villa might consider changing both fullbacks too much disruption to the backline in a game where all 3 points need to be taken.

PEPE REINA

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The former Liverpool keeper experienced a minor hamstring complaint during Thursday nights loss against Manchester United (0-3).

With Tom Heaton out for the season and Orjan Nyland dropped after a series of blunders, Villa were facing the prospect of calling upon Jed Steer.

Reina has since reported fit and is fortunately available for selection.  The Spaniard’s experience will be vital as Villa look to secure an essentila 3 points and keep any hope of staying in the Premier League alive.


Read: 25 Things Every Villa Fan Needs To Know Before Crystal Palace


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