Jack is back!
Aston Villa confirmed Jack Grealish is fit for selection this coming Saturday.
The claret and blues host Frank Lampard’s Derby County at Villa Park. The Rams have been reeling in recent weeks as they slide slowly out of the play-off places. They are now two points behind Bristol for the sixth spot.
Villa, as you may remember, beat Derby away from home 3-0 under Dean Smith. Grealish was fit then, but will we see him from the opening whistle?
There is a good chance he will begin the game from the bench as the talismanic attacking midfielder has missed more than two months with shin problems. That layoff, combined with no reserve team run-out (that we know of), might indicate a bench appearance to get his legs under him. Grealish’s return is a massive boost to the club. With Dean Smith at the helm and a healthy Grealish, Aston Villa looked like one of the best two or three teams in the league.
Though unlikely, it is possible for a winning run. The schedule remains difficult, but, alternatively, it’s Villa’s chance to control their own destiny. Points against teams ahead of them in the table: Norwich City, Leeds United, Middlesbrough, Blues, Bristol City, Nottingham Forest, and Derby can tighten the space between 3rd and 13th.
In related Villa news, Alan Hutton’s knee injury isn’t quite as serious as first expected, but he will miss multiple weeks with a MCL sprain. It’s Ahmed Elmohamady’s time to shine. Tom Carroll, akin to Grealish, is fit following a hip problem. The Swansea City loanee is decent bet to start with John McGinn serving the second match of his two-game ban.