Emiliano Martinez is in line to return to Aston Villa’s starting line-up for the clash with Everton on Saturday evening, according to Birmingham Live‘s Ashley Preece.
Villa were without the goalkeeper and his Argentina compatriot Emiliano Buendia last weekend for their trip to Chelsea, which ended in a 3-0 defeat. Jed Steer deputised for Martinez, making just his third Premier League appearance.
The Argentine pair have been seeing out a mandatory 10-quarantine after the international break in Croatia, where they underwent a training camp, and were due to return as late as Saturday morning (via Sky Sports).
Martinez is a key player for Dean Smith’s side. Last season, his tally of 15 clean sheets was bettered only by Ederson and Edouard Mendy in the Premier League and only Alphonse Areola ‘prevented’ more goals in the top flight.
In a fan Q&A for Birmingham Live ahead of this evening’s match, Preece was asked about the Argentine duo’s starting prospects.
He replied: “I believe Martinez will start with Buendia on the bench.”
This is a game that Aston Villa should be winning – they’ll have ambitions of finishing above Everton – and it would be a huge boost if they could call upon Martinez.
While neither player has been able to partake in team training this week, that certainly feels like less of an issue for a goalkeeper.
It’ll now be interesting to see whether Villa end up in this position once more after the October international break, or whether a compromise can be reached to avoid a repeat of this month’s situation.
In other news, Alex McLeish offers his reaction to this Dean Smith rumour.
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