Villa boss Tim Sherwood has provided a fitness update on his squad ahead of the club's first home game of the season against Manchester United.
Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has revealed to AVTV that both Jack Grealish and Carles Gil are unlikely to play in Friday night’s Manchester United clash, despite recently returning to full training together.
Grealish, 19, was restricted to just a 64-minute run-out against Tamworth during pre-season after injuring his hamstring at the start of Villa’s training camp in Portugal and missed the weekend’s Premier League opener at Bournemouth as a result.
Gil, meanwhile, was the team’s standout performer in their opening two fixtures against Fulham and Braga in the Algarve, where Sherwood labelled him the perfect No. 10 and tipped him to take on a vital role in his side this season.
However, the Spanish midfielder was forced off in the second-half of the subsequent 2-0 win at Swindon Town after taking a knock to his ankle and has not been back in action since.
Sherwood has now confirmed that the pair are back in training ahead of approaching home opener against United but stresses that the game might have come too soon for either to feature.
“Jack and Carles are still out injured,” said Sherwood. "Once we get everyone fit and fighting for places, it gives us a lot of options to play different ways, which will be crucial.
"Jack and Carles are training. They have had a few training sessions but we don't want to push them back too early because they've had soft tissue injuries.
"We don't want them to reoccur."
Jordan Ayew and Scott Sinclair started on the flanks in last Saturday’s 1-0 win over Bournemouth in the absence of Grealish and Gil, and the pair are expected to retain their places for United’s visit assuming their returning teammates are not risked.
However, there could be a change up top if Sherwood opts to go with the same lone striker formation, with Gabby Agbonlahor at risk of losing his spot to summer signing Rudy Gestede, who came on in the second-half at Dean Court to head home the 72nd-minute winner.
Villa's potential starting XI vs Manchester United: