Aston Villa suffer major blow as key man ruled-out of Newcastle United clash
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith has ruled striker Ollie Watkins out of Saturday’s game against Newcastle United.
Watkins, 25, signed for Villa from Brentford last summer and impressed at Villa Park, scoring 14 goals in his debut Premier League campaign.
One of those goals came in his side’s comfortable 2-0 victory in the corresponding fixture last season, a game which many United fans would like to forget.
However, it doesn’t look like he will be repeating his goalscoring antics tomorrow as his boss has admitted he won’t feature against Newcastle after suffering from a niggling knee injury.
“Ollie Watkins, I don’t expect to play, he's not healed as quick as we would like so far.”
Smith had previously hoped to have Watkins available to face Newcastle and, speaking after last week’s opening day defeat to Watford, Smith was excited about the potential of seeing Watkins face Newcastle:
“He [Watkins] 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.”
Also joining Watkins on the injury table is Bertrand Traoré as Smith admitted he’s still a few weeks away from full fitness:
“Bertrand Traoré suffered a hamstring injury last week so he will be out until just after the international break.”
However, midfielder Douglas Luiz has been back in training following duty at the Olympics in Tokyo and could make an first appearance of the season for Villa tomorrow.