Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Villans hopeful that Tom Heaton and Bjorn Engels will win fitness race to face Brighton

Aston Villa: Villans hopeful that Tom Heaton and Bjorn Engels will win fitness race to face Brighton

Aston Villa are hopeful that both Tom Heaton and Bjorn Engels will be fit enough for the visit of Brighton and Hove Albion after the international break.

Heaton, who has played in all of Villa’s eight league games this season after joining from Burnley in the summer, picked up a knock whilst training with England ahead of the Three Lions’ upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria, per the Mail.

The 33-year-old has since withdrawn from the national squad and returned to the club’s Bodymoor Heath training ground so he can recover before Villa’s league encounter against Graham Potter’s men next weekend.

Heaton is one of four goalkeepers currently with the West Midlands club, alongside Jed Steer, Lovre Kalinic and Orjan Nyland. The latter two of those names could well leave the club in search of regular football elsewhere when the transfer window reopens in January, though, as cited by the Mail.

Should Heaton fail to win his race back to fitness in time for the Seagulls clash, it’s most likely that Steer will start at Villa Park – the man who played a huge part in the Villans’ promotion-winning season in the Championship last term, making 16 league appearances, per Transfermarkt.

Elsewhere, defender Bjorn Engels is also an injury doubt having limped off with a knee injury after colliding with Teemu Pukki in the latter stages of the club’s 5-1 win over Norwich last weekend. The Belgian is expected to return against Brighton, however (the Mail).

Having these two back will be a huge boost for Aston Villa, who will be looking to build on their impressive win last weekend with a victory over Brighton.

Villa have climbed out of the bottom three and into 15th now, and could further distance themselves from the danger zone with a victory on home soil, so need their strongest possible XI available to give themselves the best chance of success.

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