Emiliano Martinez will be a ‘huge’ loss for Aston Villa against Wolverhampton Wanderers, former Premier League stopper Paul Robinson has told Football Insider.
Villa are due to host their Midlands rivals at 15.00 on Saturday 16 October as the Premier League resumes following the international break.
However, Argentina play Peru in a World Cup qualifier in the early hours of Friday morning UK time and with such a sit turnaround, it’s likely that Martinez will be unavailable.
Martinez had to sit out the trip to Chelsea last month because of quarantine rules, forcing Dean Smith to turn to his deputy Jed Steer, who wound up conceding three goals from a post-shot expected goals (xG) of 1.8.
In better news, the scheduling won’t affect Emiliano Buendia this time around because he wasn’t called up to the Argentina squad.
“Martinez is a huge part of that Villa team,” he said. “Dean Smith will not want him to go but he can’t stop him. It is a fantastic opportunity for him to go and play for his country.
“Jed Steer is a capable goalkeeper but he is no Martinez.”
Villa aren’t the only Premier League club who are falling foul of the international schedule. Brazil and their English-based stars play Uruguay at around the same time as Argentina vs Peru.
Wolves, for their part, may be taking a risk if they field star striker Raul Jimenez, who could be in action between 03.00 and 05.00 UK time on Thursday.
Yes, these countries need to ‘catch-up’ on qualifying after the COVID-enforced suspension of football, but why aren’t they playing, say, Wednesday-Saturday-Wednesday instead?
In other news, fans absolutely loved this midfielder’s comments.
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