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Villa defence loses Matty Cash before Leicester City

Dean Smith

Cash injury blow

Aston Villa have been dealt an injury blow ahead of their key clash with Leicester City this weekend, in which the Birmingham-based club could move up to 7th in the Premier League table, with a number of games in hand over their rivals

Dean Smith confirmed that summer signing Matty Cash will be unavailable for the fixture, with Egyptian full back Ahmed Elmohamady likely to deputise.

“Cash will be out, he’s got a hamstring strain. I’m not sure the level of grading but it’ll certainly be a few weeks out which is a blow for us. But it’s something we’ve been quite capable of dealing with so far. We haven’t had too many injuries but when we have, people have come in and done a job,” said Smith.

 “(Cash is) one of our new signings who has hit the ground running. If supporters were in the stadium he would certainly be a fans’ favourite with his swashbuckling runs at times.”

“I’ve said before, him and Ollie Watkins have come to improve and the two of them have improved us as well. Every day in training is like their last session. Their attitudes are infectious to the others.”

“He’ll certainly be a miss but we’ve got the likes of Elmo, who hasn’t played many games this season, fit and able to come in.”

Villa have the joint-second best defensive record in the league, and Cash has been a huge influence on the solidity of Smith’s side.

Rodgers loses several starters

An advantage which Aston Villa boast heading into the game at the weekend is a week’s rest, with Leicester City set to play Slavia Prague on Thursday evening in the Europa League’s last-32.

Ayoze Perez is a doubt for the match, after Brendan Rodgers confirmed an issue suffered in the Foxes’ 3-1 win over Liverpool.

“It’s a sore one for him. As he’s landed, his foot has stuck in the ground, so we’ll have to see what that looks like in the next day or two,” said Rodgers.

Timothy Castagne, Wesley Fofana, Dennis Praet, James Justin and Wes Morgan are all also currently out:

“I spoke to Wes,” said Rodgers. “It’s always important to offer that respect, especially to someone of that standing at the club and in the game.

“He understood it. He’s very much a team player. It’s going to be important for us in this next stage of the season to have as many fit and available players, and Wes will be out for a bit longer.”

Slavia Prague are unbeaten in the Czech league this season, and sit 10 points clear of Sparta Prague. A tough test likely awaits the Foxes on Thursday evening.

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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Premier League table
# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 27 39 65
2 Manchester United FC 27 21 51
3 Leicester City FC 27 15 50
4 Chelsea FC 27 17 47
5 Everton FC 26 6 46
6 West Ham United FC 26 9 45
7 Liverpool FC 27 12 43
8 Tottenham Hotspur FC 26 15 42
9 Aston Villa FC 25 11 39
10 Arsenal FC 27 7 38
11 Leeds United 26 -1 35
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 27 -9 34
13 Crystal Palace FC 27 -14 34
14 Southampton FC 26 -13 30
15 Burnley FC 28 -16 30
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 26 -7 26
17 Newcastle United FC 26 -17 26
18 Fulham FC 27 -12 23
19 West Bromwich Albion 27 -36 17
20 Sheffield United FC 27 -27 14
Premier League 20/21
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 17
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 15
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 14
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 13
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 13
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 11
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 10
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 9
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 9
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 9
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 9
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 8
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 8
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 8
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 7