Steven Gerrard’s Injury Update Ahead of Forest
Following a frustrating goalless draw at Elland Road at the weekend, Steven Gerrard shed some light on the on-going injury situation ahead of Aston Villa’s meeting with bottom of the table Nottingham Forest.
It’s been a tough time for Villa with injuries recently, with the club losing both of its French internationals Lucas Digne and Boubacar Kamara to long-term periods on the sidelines, with both not expected to feature until after the Qatar World Cup. However, there was some good news concerning Matty Cash, who has been missing since Villa’s draw to Man City, as well as a positive update on Calum Chambers who was unexpectedly left out of the squad against Leeds.
“Cash is back in full training and he’s available for Nottingham Forest,” confirmed Gerrard, at his recent press conference. “Calum Chambers did half of the session today and he’ll continue to pick training up from now until Monday. He’s got a decent chance of being involved as well.”
With Gerrard also confirming that Ludwig Augustinsson will be out for “probably around three weeks”, expect Ashley Young to switch to left-back, after doing a great job deputising for Cash on the right and contributing to back-to-back clean sheets.
Young can definitely expect to be a starter throughout the rest of the month, as the Lucas Digne situation was confirmed to be more serious than first thought.
“In terms of Digne: it’s a complicated one that’s going to rumble on for a few weeks before we can assess it,” Gerrard confirmed.
Buendia to Start?
Further up the pitch, Leon Bailey looks to be touch and go for the Forest clash, with the Jamaican picking up an injury issue.
“We’ve also got Leon Bailey who has got a small muscle issue, so he’s a doubt for the weekend but he’s not totally ruled out.”
This news could mean that Emi Buendia may finally feature as part of the starting eleven, a change that Villa fans have been crying out for following several stellar appearances from the Argentine off the bench. A return to form for Buendia’s opposite number Phillippe Coutinho has further cemented the midfielder’s place in Gerrard’s good books, but with Bailey potentially out, could we finally see the duo in action together?
The current injury issues at Villa seem to never end. However, with Gerrard’s men on now three games unbeaten, the squad depth has meant ti hasn’t evolved into an ‘injury crisis’ yet. Villa easily could have come away from Yorkshire with their third win of the season, an admission Gerrard made himself.
“I feel as if the weekend was a missed opportunity to take maximum points. Not just on the back of the going down to ten men, because that doesn’t guarantee you anything,” reflected the Villa boss.
“I think on the back of the opportunities we created and the overall performance, we did enough to win that game,” added Gerrard.
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Villa’s poor form in front of goal has been a major talking point since the start of the new campaign, with all six of the club’s goals in the league coming from different players. Despite our lack of a clinical goalscorer however, Gerrard confirmed that the focus in recent weeks has been addressing Villa’s defense.
“We were conceding too many goals. The priority was to become more organised, have a better structure, defend our goal better,” confirmed Gerrard
“There’s certainly been a big uplift and improvement. I think we’ve got defensive players in really good form: Tyrone, Konsa, and Bednarek [who] came on and was excellent at the weekend.”
Hopefully, Villa’s solid defense can give the attacking players a good platform for the Forest game, as it has proved difficult for Villa to find the back of the net in recent weeks despite creating a multitude of chances. Gerrard did, however, affirm his confidence in his strikers, stating they have the quality to do the job for Villa.
“The forward players in terms of their overall and all-round game: they’re not far away. It’s just that last little bit of being ruthless and being clinical. We’ve definitely got the talent and the personnel.”