Leeds United are likely to face an Aston Villa side without Jack Grealish next weekend after Villa manager Dean Smith admitted he expected the midfielder to miss the game.
Grealish sat out of a 2-2 draw between Villa and Stoke City on Saturday with a shin injury and is struggling to be ready for Leeds’ trip to Villa Park.
The talented 23-year-old, who was on the verge of joining Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, has been a fixture in Villa’s line-up this season, contributing to their current run of seven matches without defeat.
He scored in their derby win over Birmingham City last month and has produced four assists in his midfield role but Smith appeared to rule him out of next Sunday’s important clash with Leeds in the aftermath of Villa’s draw with Stoke.
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Smith, however, indicated that winger Albert Adomah and midfielders Henri Lansbury, Mile Jedinak and Birkir Bjarnason could be fit to play against Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
“Not really for Grealish,” Smith said, when asked if the midfielder would be available. “I’m expecting Adomah to come back and I probably expect Lansbury to be back as well, and Jedinak. We should have a few building up and even Bjarnason.
“Hopefully I’m spoilt for choice next week.”
Villa’s recent form had edged them into contention for the Championship play-offs but they sit 12 points behind Bielsa’s table-topping side with the season almost at the halfway stage.