Aston Villa have this afternoon been dealt a concerning blow on the injury front, during the club’s crunch meeting with Southampton.
Villa host Southampton
Dean Smith’s men are currently locked in Premier League action with the Saints at Villa Park.
The matchup comes as a crucial one in the race for survival in the English top-flight.
Ahead of kick-off, the two sides sat level on 15 points, with hosts Villa having held the advantage due to their superior goal difference.
As such, it was Southampton who occupied the final relegation spot, above Norwich City and Watford.
The opening 45 minutes in Birmingham, though, saw Ralph Hasenhüttl’s visitors fully in command.
The in-form Danny Ings opened the game’s scoring with 20 minutes on the clock, before Jack Stephens doubled Southampton’s advantage 10 minutes later, to send the Saints into the interval 2 goals to the good.
10 – Danny Ings is the third Southampton player to score 10 Premier League goals in a season before Christmas, after @1jamesbeattie in 2002-03 and @mattletiss7 in 1994-95. Saint. pic.twitter.com/VInp3kSPZP
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 21, 2019
An abysmal all-round opening 45 minutes for Aston Villa, meanwhile, was compounded by a blow on the injury front.
The player to have picked up the problem was star midfielder John McGinn.
With less than 10 minutes on the clock, Scottish international McGinn pulled up with an ankle problem.
And, after being seen to by the hosts’ medical team, it quickly became evident that the 25-year-old would be unable to continue.
As such, Dean Smith was forced to haul off his midfield dynamo, in favour of summer signing Marvelous Nakamba.
7′ | @JMcGinn7 has picked up an ankle injury and is replaced by Marvelous Nakamba.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) December 21, 2019