Tim Sherwood has been boosted this week with the news that both Carles Gil and Jack Grealish have returned to training following injuries picked up during pre-season, but it may be too soon for them to feature in Friday's game with Manchester United.
Speaking to AVTV, Tim Sherwood said:
"Jack and Carles are still out injured. "Once we get everyone fit and fighting for places, it gives us a lot of options to play different ways, which will be crucial. "Jack and Carles are training. They have had a few training sessions. "But we don't want to push them back too early because they've had soft tissue injuries. "We don't want them to reoccur."
This definitely strikes me as a smart move by Sherwood. After all, Grealish is recovering from a hamstring injury, the type of injury that can be re-aggravated if not given enough time to heal. The game against Manchester United is sure to be a physical clash, so it's definitely the right move for Villa to be cautious.
For Villa heading in to Friday night's game, being without Grealish and Gil isn't as much of a disaster as it would have been last season. Scott Sinclair and Jordan Ayew are both capable options out wide, and should prove a handful for Manchester United to deal with. In addition, Villa's attacking ranks may be boosted ahead of Friday's game with the news that Barcelona's Adama Traore may be set to sign for the Villans.
Can Villa beat Manchester United at Villa Park without Gil and Grealish? Let us know what you think in the comments below!