What a difference another week could make for Dean Smith, in terms of the choice of fit players available to him. The Aston Villa Head Coach will have to tough it out this weekend though against Stoke City, due to fresh injuries concerns.

Albert Adomah had been touch and go for the previous game against West Brom, but it seems he’ll be giving the Stoke City game a miss too, as he comebacks from injury.

“Albert’s been jogging on the training ground. Saturday might come a bit too quickly for him,” confirmed Villa Head Coach, Dean Smith in his recent press conference.

“We’ll see if he’s okay to go out and train with us tomorrow and take it from there.”

Also on the brink of a return, are both Henri Lansbury and Birkir Bjarnason, who may even be involved before Christmas, after it was expected that both would return after the Leeds game.

“They’re both out running on the training pitch at the moment, they’re very close,” said Smith.

“Neither of them will be ready for Stoke, but I’m hoping both of them will be available for Leeds.”

James Bree is also back in training, as previously reported, so should be in contention for match day squads.

Mile Jedinak who has been seen on the bench in recent weeks still isn’t fully ready and has again been on the sidelines, but is “expected back next week”, according to the Villa Head Coach.

The only longer injury concern over a player who had been making the first XI under Dean Smith is Neil Taylor who now isn’t expected to return until the new year.

“Tayls is out,” said Smith. “He’s got a hamstring injury that he picked up at West Brom, so he’s going to be out for a couple of weeks.”

With Jack Grealish also potentially out against Stoke City and possibly against Leeds United, the Christmas period just got even tougher for Villa.

Still, Smith will feel his team is still strong enough to carry on the team’s current unbeaten run and keep it alive going into 2019.

UTV