As per Birmingham Mail, the Cherries have been dealt a major injury blow for that upcoming meeting at the Vitality Stadium, with manager Scott Parker set to be without two of his three summer signings due to injury.
The former England international revealed that former West Ham United defender Ryan Fredericks and midfielder Joe Rothwell – who signed from Blackburn Rovers on a free transfer – will be absent from this weekend’s encounter:
“In the last game, he [Rothwell] did a sprint and just felt something in his quad. He won’t be ready for the start of the season. It wasn’t as bad on a scan as maybe we initially thought, but he will be missing at the start of the season.
“Ryan Fredericks is on the grass again. Again, next weekend comes a bit too quick for him, but he is on the right track.”
While those at Villa Park would not wish ill on the opposition with regards to injury, Steven Gerrard will no doubt be buzzing to see Saturday’s opponents disrupted by those two notable absences.
Although Parker will likely have new arrival Marcus Tavernier to call upon, having both Fredericks and Rothwell on the treatment table will ensure that the 41-year-old is left with essentially the same squad that had secured promotion out of the Championship, with little significant improvement having been made.
The one-time Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has only recently vocalised his concern at the lack of incomings, with doubts creeping in as to whether the south coast side have the quality needed in their ranks to compete back in the top flight.
That frustration and uncertainty will seemingly only hand the ascendancy to the Villans this weekend, with Gerrard’s men looking to make a fast start after last season’s disappointing 14th-place finish.
A strong summer of recruitment thus far – which has seen five major signings made by sporting director Johan Lange – has provided the Midlands outfit with all the tools needed to drastically improve upon the 2021/22 campaign.
The Villa boss will be taking it one game at a time, however, although he seemingly can’t have been handed a better start than facing a depleted and under-strength Bournemouth side.