Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has delivered a late update on the status of Argentina duo Emi Martinez and Emi Buendia before his side’s Premier League clash against Everton later on Saturday afternoon.
The pair opted to quarantine in Croatia in order to keep training, and having missed the last game against Chelsea last week, look set to be involved in some capacity against the Toffees today.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Villa boss said: “We are expecting them to join us tomorrow (Saturday) morning and I’ll assess it then and decide if they’ll be involved or not. We have got their numbers of what they have been doing each day. That gets sent straight to the performance department and passed onto the coaches.
“They are in a good place physically which is what we need to know. I’ll assess that in the morning and wait until tomorrow.”
Make no mistake about it, missing both Martinez and Buendia last week in the 3-0 defeat to Chelsea was a major blow to Villa, and their absences proved too much to cope with at Stamford Bridge.
Having them back for today’s clash against would be a huge boost to Villa’s chances of picking up all three points, while here on FFC, we’ve already called on Smith to start Martinez.
Whether Smith opts to start Buendia – an outfield player with no match practice for these past ten days – is another question, but even if he doesn’t make the starting line-up, having the former Norwich City star on the bench could be a game-changer in the closing stages of the game.
After the disappointment of last week, Villa fans will surely be buzzing at Smith’s latest update on both Martinez and Buendia.