Aston Villa injury update: Idrissa Gana and Adama Traore doubtful for Birmingham game

The midfield duo currently look unlikely to feature in Tuesday night's Capital One Cup clash at Villa Park.

Aston Villa midfielders Idrissa Gana and Adama Traore are both doubts for Tuesday night’s Capital One Cup third round tie against Birmingham City, manager Tim Sherwood has told the club’s official website.

Gana suffered a hamstring injury while on international duty with Senegal earlier this month and has since missed both the 3-2 loss at Leicester City and Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion.

The £9 million summer signing from Lille was set to face the Baggies but had to pull out ahead of the game after suffering a setback in training, which has left his status for the Blues clash in the balance.

"Gana was going to play on Saturday but he had a recurrence of his injury on Friday in training,” said Sherwood. "It was a blow and changed the plans - but that happens.”

Traore, meanwhile, has been sidelined since being forced off in the second half of last month’s 5-3 Capital One Cup victory over Notts County with an ankle injury.

The former Barcelona winger, who scored his first goal for Villa in the second round win, is now back in light training but Sherwood stressed that Tuesday night’s game has likely come too soon for him.

"Traore is getting better,” he added. "He is starting to run outside now. He has the protective boot off. "I am just listening to the experts and taking their advice.

"He is a young player and we have a long season ahead. We don't want to ruin him for the sake of bringing him back too early. He's very doubtful for Tuesday."

Villa now sit in 17th-place in the Premier League table following the weekend’s result, having been without a top-flight win since the 1-0 opening day victory at Bournemouth.

The team have certainly missed the quality of Gana and Traore over recent weeks and their potential absence for the crucial clash with bitter rivals Birmingham would be a definite blow.

Nevertheless, even with the pressure mounting after back-to-back defeats, Sherwood insists that his team are going in the right direction, telling "I think anyone who knows me knows that I'm probably at my strongest when I'm under pressure.

"I don't think the performances have been horrendously bad. Against West Brom, the performance wasn't great. But we probably have deserved a little bit more in our home games.

"I relish matches like Birmingham. It's an opportunity to send our fans home happy. They haven't felt that for a period of time so we are looking to be able to do that."

Sherwood’s first win in charge over West Brom last March clearly did wonders for the team’s confidence amid their fight for Premier League survival and a similar result under the lights of Villa Park against their fellow Midlands rivals could well have the same effect.

However, with Birmingham currently sitting seventh in the Championship after suffering just one defeat so far this term, it would be foolish to think that Gary Rowett's men will prove an easy opponent.

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