Ross Barkley Return?
The main injury concern ahead of the Thursday’s Burnley clash had been the fitness of Ross Barkley, with the midfielder close to returning from the hamstring injury he suffered in the first minute of the Brighton game. Dean Smith will make his final decision after viewing Barkley’s progress in today’s training.
“We’re going to have a look at Ross in training (Wednesday),” confirmed Smith, in his pre-match presser. “He’s getting closer and closer, we’ll have a look and see how he is.”
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Another Hamstring Issue
While one player’s hamstring is on the mend, news has serviced from Villa that Trezeguet picked up a hamstring injury last week in training, having initially been sidelined by a head injury, that he seemed set to return from.
At the moment, it’s mooted the Egyptian winger will miss “several weeks”, which means the Christmas period looks a no-go, with his return looking more likely early in the new year. It’ll certainly provide a chance for Anwar El Ghazi to continue his rebirth, after scoring the winner at Molineux at the weekend.
With the prospect of also facing Burnley without the suspended Douglas Luiz (due to his sending off against Wolves) and Matty Cash (who picked up his fifth booking against Wolves), there was at least some good news for Smith, with recently absent players starting to return to full fitness.
Both Korney Hause and Frederic Guilbert, who made the bench against Wolves, played for the Under-23’s the next day to increase their fitness levels, and it looks like they’ll be joined in the Burnley match day squad by the claret’s former keeper Tom Heaton.
Heaton has been starring for the Villa Under-23’s in the past couple of weeks and Smith hinted that he looks set to join the Villa first team set-up again, after being out since January, when, ironically, he was injured against Burnley.
“Kortney Hause came through some minutes on Sunday (for the Under-23s), as did Tom Heaton and Frederic Guilbert, they’re all fit for Thursday evening,” confirmed Smith.
“So we’ve got quite a few players coming back.”