Aston Villa manager Dean Smith confirmed in his Stoke City pre-match press conference on Thursday that Jack Grealish will miss the Championship clash with the Potters at Villa Park this weekend with a shin injury.
Well, the attack-minded midfielder was taken off in the 87th minute against West Bromwich Albion with the issue, and he will now be absent for the visit of Gary Rowett’s men.
It might not be the only game he misses though, with the former Brentford boss adding:
“He’ll have another test tomorrow and hopefully he’ll be available for the Christmas period.”
With important league games against Leeds United and Swansea City to come before the New Year, Smith will be desperate for the England U21 international, who has scored two goals and provided a further four assists, according to Transfermarkt, in 21 Championship outings this term.
The Midlands outfit have largely stuck with a 4-3-3 system in recent weeks with Yannick Bolasie, Tammy Abraham and Anwar El Ghazi – who scored a brace against the Baggies last time out – impressing up top, and it seems likely that Smith will go with that front three and formation again.
The 47-year-old must then select his midfield trio without Grealish, as well as Henri Lansbury, Albert Adomah, Mile Jedinak and Birkir Bjarnason who aren’t yet in contention after injury themselves, which means they are quite short of options.
Despite impressing in the first team last term Callum O’Hare has yet to play a single minute of Championship football for Villa during the current campaign, but having made the substitutes’ bench against West Brom the 5ft 9in ace could well be in contention to not only get some game time, but also a start.