Villa are back
Aston Villa finally get there Premier League football back underway after recovering from a Covid-19 outbreak within the squad which has kept the first team squad out since before the third round FA Cup defeat to Liverpool.
Villa were forced to play a youth side against the Premier League champions and came out positively having even equalised in the 4-1 defeat.
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 15: Dean Smith manager of Aston Villa during a press conference at Villa Park Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Dean Smith and his side have missed so many fixtures now that they were overtaken by Arsenal after their 3-0 victory over Newcastle. However, Villa now have four games in hand over the Gunners and will be hoping to get some of those points recouped in their mid-week fixture against Manchester City.
“It has been a tough period but we have to worry first and foremost about the people who have tested positive and make sure they make a healthy return to the football club,” said Smith.
“We have had a mixture of players with or without symptoms. The hardest part is they all come back at different stages.”
Grealish and Martinez train
With Smith mentioning that there are a number of players who tested positive and also showed symptoms for the virus, it is expected that not all of the first team will be immediately available for the head coach ahead of their match against City.
The positive news is that training pictures showed that Jack Grealish and goalkeeper Emi Martinez both were involved and will likely start. The Mirror also reported that Grealish will be involved having not suffered with a positive test and was just self-isolating along with the rest of the first team squad.
There had been concerns that Grealish may not be available. The desperation of some Fantasy football fans trying to find out whether or not the talisman would be available were concerned to see Villan defender Matt Targett remove both himself and Grealish from his own Fantasy team.
View this post on Instagram
Targett himself is yet to be spotted in Villa training ahead of the match and so his involvement is still in question but the sight of their captain will bring much confidence to the side who will be eager to get back underway.