Unai Emery confirms potential double boost for Aston Villa ahead of Everton clash

The Aston Villa manager has spoken ahead of his side's clash with Everton this weekend.

Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has claimed that his side could welcome back key duo Pau Torres and Youri Tielemans against Everton.

The Toffees face off against Aston Villa at Goodison Park at the weekend, 10 days after their goalless draw with Crystal Palace in the FA Cup. Sean Dyche's side are looking to bounce back after three defeats on the bounce in the league and four in all competitions, following the Palace draw, after what has been a tricky spell.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Villa remain second in the league table as their brilliant season has continued over the Christmas period, and their most recent outing saw them progress to the fourth round of the FA Cup after defeating Middlesbrough at the Riverside stadium. Prior to that, their form was slightly mixed. They edged past Burnley at home but lost to Manchester United and drew with Sheffield United. Although, since their defeat against Nottingham Forest on November 5, they've won nine of their 13 games in all competitions and they are a huge test for Everton on Sunday.

Aston Villa team news

As mentioned, Emery could welcome back defender Torres, who returned to action in the win over Burnley two weeks ago but he aggravated his injury during the 3-2 win. He has been back in training and should be in contention to feature this weekend.

For Tielemans, he has also returned to training after missing the last six games and former Blue Lucas Digne has also returned to action in team training but he won't be available to feature against his ex-club. Forward Bertrand Traore is out of the Africa Cup of Nations and Emi Buendia remains a long-term absentee.

"Pau Torres is training with the group and Youri Tielemans started this week, progressively getting better," Emery confirmed. "If everything goes well then both could be in the squad with the possibility of playing."

Everton team news

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The two sides met in August at Villa Park earlier in the season, but Emery's side were by far and beyond the better side as they ran out 4-0 winners on the day, but the fixture at the weekend will be a totally different game. There's good news for Dyche and Everton as key man Abdoulaye Doucoure should be available to return to the squad, after missing the last five games with a hamstring injury.

There was also good news regarding Dwight McNeil's ankle injury, which isn't as bad as they first feared, but he isn't available for the weekend's game. Also missing are Ashley Young, Dele Alli and Idrissa Gueye, who is at the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal.