Villa set for quadruple injury boost

Aston Villa

Aston Villa should be boosted by the availability of Jack Grealish, Matt Targett, Bjorn Engels and Tom Heaton after the international break.

Captain Grealish has missed Villa’s last three games across all competitions due to the calf injury he picked up in the 3-0 Premier League defeat to Manchester City at the end of last month, but the club expect the midfielder to return to training later this week.

It is a similar story for left-back Targett, who was withdrawn during Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at Wolves due to concussion, but he has since passed all of his return to play protocols and he should resume training over the coming days.

Central-defender Engels and goalkeeper Heaton were both late withdrawals ahead of the defeat at Molineux due to respective hip and calf problems – the latter also being forced to pull out of England’s squad for their upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Montenegro and Kosovo as a result.

However, neither player is expected to be sidelined for too long and they should join Grealish and Targett in being available for Villa’s first game after the international break, which will be a home clash against Newcastle on November 25.

The availability of Heaton should be a particular boost to boss Dean Smith, as the 33-year-old’s replacement against Wolves, Jed Steer, was forced off after just eight minutes of that contest due to his own calf problem.

Villa still do not know the extent of Steer’s injury, but they have confirmed he is currently being assessed by the club’s medical team.

“Jed Steer was also forced off with a calf injury early on at Molineux,” a club statement read. “While the severity of the injury is still being assessed by the club’s medical staff, no timescale has been set for his return to training.”

Smith’s side currently sit 17th in the top-flight standings and following their home clash with Newcastle, face back-to-back trips to Manchester United and Chelsea before welcoming high-flying Leicester to Villa Park on December 8.