Aston Villa’s talismanic captain Jack Grealish is set for a spell on the sidelines and the news will be a big boost for Leeds United ahead of their upcoming clash.
Grealish has been instrumental in guiding the Midlands club to their current top-half standing after inspiring the side to Premier League safety on the final day of last season.
He has scored six times and registered 10 assists in 22 league appearances and has also established himself as a key performer for the England team ahead of this summer’s European Championships.
However, he looks as though he could miss his side’s trip to Elland Road on February 27 through injury as the Whites look to do the double over Villa after Patrick Bamford’s hat-trick put them to the sword in the reverse fixture earlier in the campaign.
In a discussion with supporters ahead of Villa’s game against Leciester City on Sunday, The Athletic’s Gregg Evans said on the £120,000 per week ace: “The attacker picked up an injury in training this week and will not be in the squad.
“He’s also expected to miss next week’s game with Leeds United and will then be assessed to see if there’s any longer-term damage.”
There for the taking
This will be great news for Leeds despite the ease at which they secured victory on October 23.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side made a nervy start with Pascal Struijk looking calamitous before his first-half hooking as Grealish and co threatened to run riot.
But they assumed control and eventually powered past their opponents with consummate ease as Bamford announced himself to the Premier League in some style.
Regardless, Grealish is the absolute heartbeat of Villa and Dean Smith’s side are a shadow of themselves in his absence.
That means this now turns to a must-win if the Whites are to really establish themselves as top-10 contenders this season.
Villa are only four points ahead of Leeds as they sit in eighth position and catching them is still an attainable task for Bielsa and his charges, one that has been made much easier by this latest development.
Grealish does not enjoy the best of relationship with Leeds fans who are sure to offer little in the way of sympathy at his current plight and will hope to take advantage of his absence.
Bad blood between these two sides dates back to a Championship clash in 2019 after a controversial moment when the Whites opted not to kick the ball out.
In other Leeds United news, Danny Murphy details his sympathy for Patrick Bamford after his Wolves disappointment.