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Baker ruled out for Chelsea match, but Lambert has options

After injuring his ankle in the Arsenal match, Nathan Baker won't be playing against Chelsea on Wednesday.

Michael Steele

Nathan Baker injured his ankle in the first half against Arsenal on Saturday and won't be ready to play in tomorrow's match against Chelsea. It's likely, in fact, that Baker won't be available to play in Saturday's match against Liverpool either. But this news doesn't have Paul Lambert worried at all. In fact, Lambert is happier now than he's ever been at Villa with his CB options.

Ciaran Clark came in and performed pretty well in replacing Baker on Saturday, and now he'll be joined in the competition for the starting spot by Jores Okore. After last year's lack of depth, it's a nice problem for the club to have. Both Okore and Clark would be perfectly fine starters - though heaven knows it wouldn't hurt to find a better CB somewhere - and Baker has been acceptable too.

In other injury news, Yacouba Sylla has returned to training and will possibly be available for tomorrow's match. If he can step in, he might be able to help bridge the gap in the midfield that was so apparent at time in the Arsenal match. I'm still not entirely sold on Sylla, but if he can progress, he might be that link that we've been looking for.