The main issue about Tyrone Mings red card against Rotherham in midweek, was its rotten timing due to the lack of currently fit centre-back alternatives.
With James Chester and Tommy Elphick (although back in training, still a week away from being ready) both out, Dean Smith now is forced to wait until the morning of the game to see if Kortney Hause can potentially be fit enough to start, after missing the Rotherham game through a hip injury.
If Villa are without Mings and Hause then Bristol City will certainly fancy their chances with the bedrock of Villa’s recent defensive improvement out.
Luckily Axel Tuanzebe is back and has minutes under his belt now and if Hause doesn’t pass his late fitness test, then Mile Jedinak is expected to start.
Jedinak impressed after coming off the bench in midweek, so while it’s not exactly red alert time, the fact the clash is a pivotal match against a play-off rival, is far from ideal.
Still, Villa have two positives to look to.
Firstly, Glenn Whelan’s recent form has been very good playing in front of the back four, so expect him to slot back in to help cover the potential Tuanzebe and Jedinak centre-back partnership
Also, Alan Hutton is fit and available for selection once again, so at least Villa will have some genuine cover on the bench. The Scottish Cafu’s return is good timing at least in that respect, even if he’s lost his starting place.
In other injury news, Croatian keeper Lovre Kalinic is expected back at the back end of April, as he is still recovering from his knee operation.