Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a late setback ahead of their Premier League meeting with Aston Villa this evening.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference (via Birmingham Live), Steven Gerrard revealed that all three of Marvelous Nakamba, Emiliano Buendia and Tyrone Mings will be available for selection for the visit of Spurs on Saturday, as the trio have returned to training after recovering from their respective injuries.
Regarding the current state of his squad, the 41-year-old Villa manager said: “We’re likely to make some changes. We’re nearly at full health. Marvelous Nakamba was one we’ve been waiting for and he’s had 60 minutes in the U23s and a strong week, so he’ll come into the squad.
“Emi Buendia and Tyrone Mings picked up niggles from Wolves. Tyrone trained yesterday and he’s been ok, so he’s available. Emi Buendia trained today and assuming there’s no reaction from [Friday’s] session, he’ll be available. That makes us virtually full strength.”
Considering how important both Buendia and Mings in particular have been for Villa so far this season, the news that the duo will be fit to face Spurs this evening is sure to have left Antonio Conte gutted.
Indeed, over Buendia’s 27 Premier League appearances this season, the £31.5m-rated winger has been in excellent form for Gerrard’s side, scoring two goals, registering four assists and creating six big chances for his team-mates. These returns have seen the 25-year-old average an impressive SofaScore match rating of 6.95, ranking him as Villa’s joint third-best player in the top flight.
Meanwhile, over Mings’ 28 league outings, the £28.8m-rated centre-back has also been in fine form, helping his side to keep nine clean sheets, scoring one goal and registering three assists. These metrics have seen the 29-year-old average a SofaScore match rating of 6.94, ranking him as his club’s fifth-best performer in the Premier League.
As such, it is clear to see that the availability of the duo, in addition to the further return of Nakamba – who has not featured for Villa since December as a result of a knee injury – will come as a huge blow to Tottenham’s chances of leaving the Midlands with all three points later, with a loss undoubtedly putting a huge dent in Spurs’ top-four hopes this season.