Aston Villa are going to be sweating on the fitness of two key players ahead of the Second City Derby in ten days time, according to Birmingham Live.
They face a resurgent Birmingham side a week on Sunday in their first proper derby of the season and it looks as though they could be without one or two of their key men.
The biggest name struggling for fitness is John McGinn. The summer signing from Hibernian has been a revelation for Villa so far, scoring spectacular goals and setting a few up too, but he’s pulled out of the Scotland squad this week.
He had joined up with the Tartan Army for their trip to Albania, but they’ve now pressed on without him and he’s back in the Midlands receiving treatment. He’s a strong doubt for the visit of Garry Monk’s side which would be a significant blow for Villa.
Neil Taylor is also a concern, he came off at half time of the impressive 3-0 win against Derby County and hasn’t recovered in time for their Nations League match against Denmark.
Taylor has been a key player for Smith in recent weeks and his absence would destabilise the improving defensive unit.
This is worrying news indeed, given the summer Birmingham had this could have been a straightforward victory for the home side, but the Blues have been excellent under Monk, with Villa experiencing turbulent times.
If they’re missing key players too it could be a miserable afternoon at Villa Park for Dean Smith’s first second city derby.