Aston Villa handed MASSIVE fitness boost ahead of Newcastle United Premier League visit

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has been handed a major fitness boost ahead of Newcastle United’s Premier League trip to Villa Park.

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 5:00 pm
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Jack Grealish of Aston Villa celebrates at full-time after the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Brighton & Hove Albion at Villa Park on October 19, 2019 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Skipper Jack Grealish is set to return to the Villa starting XI, having trained with the first-team during the international break.

A cautious Smith said: “Jack’s been training with us. I’m a little bit ill at ease to say he’ll be available to us because he has for the last couple of weeks and not played.

“He’s trained with us for the last week so I have no doubt he’ll be there in his happy place, playing at Villa Park in front of the fans.”

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Elsewhere on the injury front, Smith has revealed he will definitely be without Jed Steer, while Tom Heaton is a major doubt.

"We thought he would come through it, but it was just too sore," Smith said on England keeper Heaton.

Meanwhile, Smith is expecting a tough test against the in-form Magpies.

“If you look at Newcastle at the start of the season there was a lot of questions about the whole football club and which direction it was going in and Steve has gone in and done what he does best,” said Smith.

“He’s got them organised, they’ve got pace and power up front and they’re winning games at the moment so they’re in a good run of form. It’s going to be a tough game for us.

“They’re a very good counter-attacking team, as West Ham found out. They’ve got two good wide players who love to get in behind you.”