Ollie Watkins Return?
Lets be honest, we’re all wise to the Dean Smith injury report routine, so many of us weren’t expecting to see Ollie Watkins back until after the international break. In Smith’s pre-match press conference before the Villa Park clash with Brentford though, Smith dangled the possibility of the Villa striker being a possible inclusion in the upcoming match day squad.
“Ollie Watkins will train with us today and if he gets through training, he’ll be available for selection,” offered Smith.
Are we still betting on an after the international break return for Watkins? Yeah, probably.
No doubt Watkins will be keen to feature though against his former team, so that might up the chances of him being ready and willing to play.
“It’s a club where he spent a lot of time and it was a very successful period for him in terms of goalscoring,” added Smith. “They helped develop him into the player he is today.”
Meanwhile, the Villa Head Coach did rule out both Leon Bailey and Bertrand Traore until after the international break, although they’re expected to feature immediately when Premier League action returns.
“[Bailey’s] progress is going ok but tomorrow will come too soon for him, the same with Bertrand Traore,” confirmed Smith.
“I expect both of them to be fit for the first game after the international break.”
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Man or Myth?
A potential key player to the scope of Villa’s season is still the mysterious figure of Morgan Sanson. The French midfielder is chiefly the reason Villa fan social media will more than likely be disappointed, if they’re still expecting a top class midfielder signing this window.
Sanson was bought in to upgrade the Villa midfield and so far has had his acclimatisation and integration into the fold derailed by injury.
“Morgan Sanson is training fully with us now, said Smith, at the press conference. “He’s had no match exposure, so he’s likely to play a couple of games in the next week or two.
So with closed behind-closed-doors matches seemingly on the cards during the international break, a Sanson return immediately after the international break looks likely too.