Villa Injury Updates: McGinn, Engels, Drinkwater & Guilbert

Following the resumption of fixtures as part of Project Restart, Villa have drawn with Sheffield United (0-0) and lost to Chelsea (1-2).

With Villa now having just eight games remaining to save Premier League status, here are the latest injury updates from B6 ahead of a tricky midweek trip to Newcastle.

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INJURY UPDATES

JOHN MCGINN

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The Scottish International hasn’t looked at all up to speed in two outings following long term injury.  Having played just 30 minutes in Villa’s warm up games and struggling to last beyond the hour mark in the first two matches, McGinn will likely be subject to another fitness test.

Dean Smith finds himself in a real Catch 22 with McGinn, as we now begin to look nervously at a challenging set of fixtures across just eight remaining games.

Playing the former Hibs man in theory provides him with valuable match fitness, but the fact is that he’s been so off the pace as to render his inclusion to date questionable.

Does Smith opt to drop McGinn in favour of an alternative?  Then he’s faced with the challenge of judging who is more capable from Drinkwater, Lansbury or Nakamba.  None of whom have shown much in the way of comparison to a fit John McGinn.  Alternatively, could the Scottish international’s spot be sacrificed entirely, opening up the possibility of a strike partner for Keinan Davis?

FREDERIC GUILBERT

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Whilst Konsa deputised well for the injured Guilbert against Sheffield United, he was absolutely mobbed against Chelsea.  Indeed, both of Villa’s goals were scored by an opposition player advancing from the right.

Guilbert is back in contention and was known to be back in training even before Sunday’s defeat at Villa Park.  He is expected to under-go a fitness test before a decision on him travelling to St James’ is made.

One can reasonably assume that the Frenchman will find himself recalled to provide recognised cover at right back, as well as the potential to bomb forward.  We will need the defensive quality as much as an attacking option.

BJORN ENGELS

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The Belgian defender remains sidelined with an achilles issue and will not feature.

DANNY DRINKWATER

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The Premier League winner with Leicester hasn’t produced anything of note whilst on loan and suffered an injury during Villa’s lockdown warm up games.

The central midfielder was ineligle to play against Chelsea at the weekend, as on loan to Villa from his parent club.

Drinkwater is now fully fit and available for selection and with Smith likely pondering our ineffectiveness from midfield, it wouldn’t be beyond the realms of possibility to see him feature.

Villa’s head coach has confirmed that there will be changes given the high turnaround of games and looking at our limited options, Drinkwater’s inclusion is a distinct possibility.

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