Aston Villa 'hopeful' key man will return in time to face Newcastle United

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is hopeful Ollie Watkins will be fit in time for the visit of Newcastle United on Saturday.

Watkins, who finished as Villa’s top scorer last season with 14 goals, missed the Premier League opening day defeat at Watford with a bruised knee.

The 25-year-old will be assessed ahead of facing the Magpies, and Smith is optimistic of a positive outcome.

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Smith said: “I’m hopeful Ollie will be back for Newcastle. We missed him on Saturday.

Aston Villa manager Dean Smith and striker Ollie Watkins. (Photo by Nick Potts - Pool/Getty Images)

“He naturally plays with an intensity and stretches the line really well for us. He certainly wouldn’t have given the Watford back four as much time on the ball as they had today.”

Meanwhile, Douglas Luiz should be back in contention after returning from the Toyko Olympics on Monday, where he won gold with Brazil in the men’s football.

However, Trezeguet and Morgan Sanson are definitely sidelined with knee injuries.

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