Steven Gerrard gives Villa squad fitness update ahead of Crystal Palace Clash

Mixed Injury News for Steven Gerrard

By Oscar Webster

With Aston Villa looking for maximum points out of their forthcoming back-to-back home clashes in order to try and snatch a top half finish, Steven Gerrard had mixed news when it came to his injury round-up in his pre-match Crystal Palace press conference

Villa had been without their newly voted ‘Player’s Player of the Season,’ Jacob Ramsey for their last two fixtures, but Gerrard confirmed the young midfielder could make his return against Palace.

“JJ is back with the group”, said Gerrard. “He’s trained for the last couple of days and he’s looking good, looking strong, so that’s a big positive for us.”

With three points against Burnley and a solid performance against Liverpool on Tuesday, Villa’s midfield has coped well without Ramsey, so it will be interesting to see if he will start against Palace.

Meanwhile, Gerrard was uncertain on the availability of Ollie Watkins, who may be set to miss this weekend’s game.

“Watkins hasn’t trained since the Liverpool game but has a chance to be involved. He had a knock on his ankle.”

A return to goalscoring form as of late has proved important for Villa, with the England striker suffering a few dry spells in front of goal this season. Hopefully, Watkins will be able to participate in Sunday’s clash as he aims to continue his hot run of form and an improving relationship with Danny Ings.

Villa’s Argentine talisman Emiliano Buendia will be available, despite a knock in training.

“Buendia left training with a knock yesterday, but trained today so he’s be fine.”

With the permanent signing of Philippe Coutinho now officially announced, Gerrard looks like he will still have the issue of fitting the two talented South Americans in Villa’s team next season.

Finally, there was a brief update on the more long-term injures in the squad, with Gerrard confirming that Leon Bailey and Kourtney Hause will not feature.

“Bailey and Hause are still out.”

The Coutinho signing could also prove costly for Bailey’s game time, with the winger struggling for form in recent months and likely not to feature again this season.

There has also been media speculation this week, hinting at a summer exit for Hause, who supposedly saw a move to Watford fall through in January.

As Villa take on a Crystal Palace side that has taken seven points from their last nine available, Villa will have to certainly continue their recent improvement in form to beat Viera’s men.

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