Everyone hates the International breaks. No-one more so than myself. Not only does it always feel like an eternity before club football is back but also players are at risk of injury. This is the situation we currently find ourselves with in regards to James Chester.
On Friday, Wales played against Denmark in a Nations Cup match. Chester went off the pitch with what looked like a knee injury. There has since been plenty of speculations as to whether our Captain will be available for the second City derby this Sunday. There seems to be one rumour that is more prominent than others and it is very frustrating.
There is talk that the Welshman was carrying a slight knee injury before he reported for duty with Wales. If there is any truth in this, why is Ryan Giggs choosing to risk Chester despite his knock? There was always going to be a risk of him aggravating it further.
Reports suggest that Chester will be 50/50 to make a recovery before the game. Of course, we will find out for certain closer to the game but Smith has suggested that he is hopeful. If he does miss out then it will prove to be a huge blow for Villa especially after he returned to good form recently.
Villa’s player of the season so far was forced to withdraw from the Scotland squad due to injury. McGinn didn’t play before his withdrawal so hopefully, it minimized any risk of making the injury even worse.
Smith has suggested that he hopes that both McGinn and Chester will be available this Sunday. This could prove to be brilliant news. The Scot has easily been our best player this season for me. His non-stop running and desire to win every challenge and ball is a joy to watch. He has even popped up with a couple of goals and 4 assists towards the cause.
Slightly bad news on the Bjarnason front though. He posted a message on Instagram that suggests he will be out of the clash this weekend.
View this post on Instagram
Details of what surgery or how long Bjarnason will be out are currently unclear. Some supporters have even suggested it is nothing more than mind games. One thing is for sure, the Villa medical team have been busy this week. If we come out of this weekends derby with all three points it will be a great team effort by all involved.
My nerves are really starting to kick in ahead of the game. As many have already stated, our performance at Pride Park was a joy to behold. It was the best in a long while and it fills me with lots of hope with the team. We have proved what we are capable of. I just hope it wasn’t a one off!
I am confident we can beat Birmingham on the day however I won’t be giving my score prediction.