Well - it doesn’t get much better than this. Stand-in Aston Villa manager Colin Calderwood (Steve Bruce has stepped away from press conference duties due to a family bereavement) announced in today’s pre-game presser that both Lewis Grabban and Robert Snodgrass are ready to go, just in time for the derby!
Robert Snodgrass, if you didn’t know, picked up a groin strain in Villa’s previous match with Burton and although he wasn’t a doubt for the derby, you don’t want one of your most influential footballers playing with an issue that could hamper his mobility. ‘Snoddy’ is in the clear and will, without a doubt, start on the right-wing for Aston Villa against Birmingham.
Of note - Lewis Grabban will also be considered for selection after training with the first-team. The loan signing from Bournemouth missed the Burton game due to a lack of match fitness. He did sit on the sidelines for a month at his parent club after his successful loan spell. He might make his debut for Villa on Sunday.
The wildcard here is the health of Gabriel Agbonlahor. Gabby has been announced as fit, and it’s likely he will see game action in one of the only matches where he can seem to make an impact. However, it would be a shame for him to push Lewis Grabban out of the side. Despite our personal feelings about the Villa misfit, Calderwood mentioned that it was Agbonlahor and Jack Grealish who were able to lecture the squad ahead of the game - just to showcase what the derby means to Villa.
On a sad note, we aren’t sure if we will see Steve Bruce on the sideline on Sunday. The Bruce family suffered a tragedy when Bruce’s father passed away a few days ago. There’s no good news here, as Bruce’s mother is in poor health as well. We wish the best to the Bruce family, and will be backing them all the way - regardless of what happens this season. There’s a lot more important that football.
Injuries are awful things in football, but they happen. Due to the frantic, fluid nature of the sport, people are going to succumb to broken bones, muscle strains, cuts, bruises and illness. That’s a fact!
Sometimes, these injuries can stack up to a point where if your team was stricken by the same amount of injuries in a video game, you’d be thinking about writing to the developers to complain about an ‘unrealistic injury bug’ in the code of the game.
Thankfully, it seems that this time around - Villa’s injury worries are light this time around, with only two senior players (Chris Samba & Jonathan Kodjia) forced out of contention ahead of the Birmingham City match