Villa go into a huge game against Arsenal this evening needing nothing less than 3 points. Anything less and relegation is simply the only plausible outcome.
The Villa Underground has the very latest from the physio room concerning Kortney Hause, Neil Taylor, Danny Drinkwater and Bjorn Engels.
Taylor continues to ‘struggle‘ with this hamstring injury and will not feature against The Gunners at Villa Park. Targett, who has played almost the full 180 minutes against both Palace and Everton (1-1) will therefore retain his berth in the starting XI.
Hause was starting to form a positive partnership alongside Tyrone Mings before a warm-up injury prior to the Crystal Palace game forced him to withdraw.
This did though prompt a reshuffle at the back, moving Konsa to centre-half with Ahmed Elmohamady slotting into right back.
Whilst Elmohamady has impressed, as much for his dangerous crossing ability as his defending, Hause’s return to fitness puts Konsa’s place at risk.
Much will depend upon Hause’s match fitness following his brief layoff but Smith might be tempted to rotate Konsa out of the squad after indifferent form. Konsa struggled at right back, with many of Villa’s goals coming down that side and has equally looked uncomfortable at centre-half in recent games. With Hause having trained Sunday and Monday, A big decision looms.
The tall Belgian hasn’t been seen this side of lockdown and his season appears to be over due to a persistent achilles problem.
He and Mings represented Villa’s most obvious and promising centre-half partnership, but it was confirmed by Dean Smith that he won’t feature again during the campaign.
The injury, suffered during the enforced suspension of the Premier League due to Covid-19, has seen Villa’s leaky backline frequently reshuffled.
It remains to be seen what might become of the 25 year old in the event that Villa are relegated to The Championship.
Drinkwater had his loan deal from Chelsea extended for the rest of the campaign, but is yet to feature at all.
The former Premier League winner has done little to impress on the field since his arrival and is availability has been compounded by injury.
The midfielder, signed for a baffling £35m by Chelsea from Leicester, is reportedly available after picking up a knock last week.
Get all the latest & breaking Villa v Arsenal pre-match news and previews in the Match Centre
A decade of Villa News to your inbox – JOIN TODAY!