Aside from the VAR controversy and the fact they slipped to a 2-0 defeat against Manchester City last time out, Aston Villa boss Dean Smith will also have been left ruing his luck after seeing John McGinn earn a one-match suspension.
The Scotland international picked up his fifth yellow card of the season at the Etihad, and as a result, will miss the clash against Newcastle on Saturday night.
With a deal for Marseille midfielder Morgan Sanson not yet complete and still very much in the works, and Conor Hourihane now available for a move away, it may see Marvelous Nakamba be given a rare chance to impress.
The Zimbabwe international hasn’t played that much this season, with just four appearances in the Premier League totaling a measly 103 minutes.
The £55k-a-week earning ace has also been linked with a potential exit in this January transfer window, at least on loan, with rumours that Galatasaray remain keen on signing him after their initial summer interest.
And with Sanson’s potential arrival, Nakamba is likely to fall even further down the pecking order or even find himself out of Villa Park sooner rather than later.
It’s exactly why the game against the Magpies almost represents last chance saloon for the midfield dynamo, and if he does take his opportunity with both hands, then it may convince Smith to keep him beyond the end of the January window.
Speaking to Football Insider last season, former Villa man Alan Hutton raved about the 27-year-old, saying: “I think Nakamba’s done well. Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s been a difficult season, it was always going to be a difficult season.
“I think Nakamba can come out after this season thinking he’s played his part. I think he is probably underrated as well. There’s so much focus on the likes of Tyrone, Jack, John, even Wesley. It’s been difficult but I think in terms of underrated, Nakamba. He’s went about his business very well, especially when the spotlight has been on other members of the squad.”
With McGinn out, Smith simply has to unleash Nakamba against Newcastle.