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Aston Villa: Philippe Coutinho ‘could feature’ vs Villarreal

Aston Villa: Philippe Coutinho 'could feature' vs Villarreal - Aston Villa News

Aston Villa midfielder Philippe Coutinho is ‘back in training’ and ‘could feature’ in the mid-season friendly vs Villarreal tonight, according to journalist Ashley Preece.

The Lowdown: Road to recovery

The Brazilian sustained a quadricep injury back in November, which unfortunately ruled him out of the World Cup, and he is yet to feature under new manager Unai Emery.

The Premier League veteran recently posted short stories on his social media of himself completing some training drills, and there has now been a positive update on his progress as he nears a long-awaited comeback.

The Latest: Preece’s update

Taking to Twitter, Preece confirmed that Coutinho has returned to the pitches and is in contention to face the La Liga giants at Villa Park this evening. On Wednesday, he wrote:

“Philippe Coutinho back in training at Bodymoor Heath. The Brazilian could feature vs Villarreal tomorrow as he steps up his #avfc recovery from a ruptured quad. Fascinated to see if he can rediscover his spark under Unai Emery.”

The Verdict: Boost for Emery

Coutinho has been dubbed ‘magic’ by Melissa Reddy and it will be a huge boost for Emery to have him at his disposal for the first time since his arrival.

The Rio de Janeiro native scored five goals and provided three assists in just 16 league starts last season, averaging 2.3 shots per game (WhoScored), and getting him back to that sort of form must surely be one of the new boss’ top priorities.

The Midlands outfit are just one point outside the top ten after some recent positive results, and Coutinho could play a significant role in whether his side secure a strong finish to the campaign.

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Aston Villa manager Unai Emery

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