Aston Villa have another tough test ahead of them today, with a home clash against Arsenal in the Premier League next up for Steven Gerrard’s side as they look to bounce back from last weekend’s 2-1 defeat against West Ham United.
Heading into the match against Mikel Arteta’s men, who are currently five places and 15 points ahead of the Villans in the table, it seems as though the home side will be without one of their key players for today’s showdown.
Speaking in his recent press conference, Gerrard revealed that left-back Lucas Digne will not be available for selection to take on the Gunners as a result of a hamstring injury he picked up in the early stages of the game against West Ham last weekend.
Arriving in the Midlands in January from fellow Premier League club Everton in a £25m deal, the full-back has quickly made himself a key player for Gerrard by appearing in all but one of Villa’s nine league games since the transfer.
In those eight league games in which he has featured, the Frenchman has amassed a higher average of crosses per game (1.3) than any other Villa player, showing what the team will now be missing when they take on Arsenal.
Now that it has been confirmed that Digne will play no part in the match this afternoon, this will surely leave a lot of Villa fans sweating over how their team will be able to perform without him, given how prominent and effective he has been since he swapped Merseyside for the Midlands.
In terms of who Gerrard could pick to replace the France international, it seems likely that the former Rangers boss will go with Ashley Young, who came on for Digne when the 28-year-old was forced off the pitch last weekend in east London.
With Arsenal having won five games on the bounce prior to their midweek defeat against Liverpool, it’s safe to say that the Gunners will be chomping at the bit to get back to winning ways and will be going all-out for a victory to maintain their top-four push. Therefore, along with the rest of the Villa defence, whoever comes in to replace Digne will need to be in top form to help their team get a positive result today.