Fabrizio Romano reveals Aston Villa injury concern ahead of crucial fixtures

Poland v Estonia: UEFA EURO 2024 Play-Offs Semi-final
Poland v Estonia: UEFA EURO 2024 Play-Offs Semi-final / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Aston Villa's ambitious push for a Champions League spot has suffered a major setback with the news that defender Matty Cash will be sidelined for three weeks due to a hamstring injury. The timing couldn't be worse for Villa, who are locked in a tight battle for a top-four finish and face crucial matches in both the Premier League and Europa Conference League.

Cash, a pivotal player in Villa's resurgence this season, has been ruled out of action after suffering the injury while representing Poland in a recent Euro 2024 qualifier. The dynamic right-back's absence will be keenly felt, as he brings both defensive solidity and a knack for starting attacks from the back.

Manager Unai Emery now faces the tough task of reshuffling his defence in Cash's absence. Ezri Konsa is expected to slot into the right-back spot, but it remains to be seen if he can fully replicate Cash's contributions.

While the injury is a blow, reliable football journalist Fabrizio Romano reports that Cash's recovery time could allow him to return for the final weeks of the season and the upcoming Euros.

The stakes are high for Aston Villa. Their top-four Premier League dreams now hang in the balance, with tough games against Manchester City and Arsenal on the horizon. And in the Europa Conference League, they are soon to face a formidable challenge in Lille.

However, there's a twist to consider in Aston Villa's Champions League quest. Due to the complex UEFA coefficient system, even a fifth-place finish in the Premier League could potentially earn them a coveted Champions League berth – especially if Villa takes home the Europa Conference League trophy.

Matty Cash's injury undoubtedly throws a curveball into Aston Villa's plans, but it also presents an opportunity to test the squad's mettle. The weeks ahead will be a defining period for Villa, as they strive to achieve their ambitious goals for the season.