Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Matt Maher says club ‘hopeful’ over Ollie Watkins fitness

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Chief sports writer at the Express & Star Matt Maher has provided an update on the fitness of Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins. 

Watkins has yet to feature for Villa this season due to a bruised knee he suffered in a friendly against Italian side Salernitana earlier this August.

The England international also failed to make the team for the Villans’ recent 6-0 Carabao Cup win over Barrow, but there is now a glimmer of hope that he could be fit for their upcoming Premier League match against Brentford.

When talking about the striker’s fitness on the E&S Villa Podcast, Maher said: “Well, I think they’re hopeful for this weekend for Watkins, but Dean Smith’s ‘hopeful’ usually means he’s out. 

“I think unless he’s trained a couple of days, I don’t see Watkins being involved on Saturday. I just don’t see the point in risking him.”

TIF thoughts on Ollie Watkins and Aston Villa…

Other striking options such as Keinan Davis, Leon Bailey, and Bertrand Traore are also all doubts for the weekend, so it looks as though Danny Ings will have to be Villa’s main man again.

Having scored two goals in his first two appearances with the club, this shouldn’t be of too much of a concern for the player, manager or fans alike.

However, with Watkins scoring 14 times in his debut Premier League season last term, the idea of pairing him with Ings certainly seems like an exciting prospect.

It would come as no surprise to hear that Smith wants to get the two on the pitch together as soon as possible.

Judging from Maher’s update, this could happen as early as this weekend – though there is the chance that the Brentford game may come just slightly too soon for Watkins.

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