Already-relegated Villa host Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon in their final home game of the season.
Aston Villa trio Rudy Gestede, Jordan Veretout and Kieran Richardson are all fitness doubts for Saturday’s visit of Newcastle United, caretaker manager Eric Black has revealed at his pre-match press conference.
Gestede returned to the Villa line-up for last weekend’s 3-2 loss at Watford after starting the previous three games on the bench, but the towering striker is now facing a race to be fit in time for the final home game of the season due to a groin issue.
Veretout, who has not played in any of Black’s five games in charge, is also struggling with a pelvic injury, while Richardson has still not recovered from the calf problem that has kept him out of the last two matches.
The utility man likely would have deputised at left-back for Aly Cissokho, who is serving a one-game ban after being sent off at Watford, but either the versatile Leandro Bacuna or recent debutant Kevin Toner is now expected to fill in at the position.
"Jordan Veretout is struggling with a pelvic problem,” Black told reporters. "Rudy Gestede has an issue with his groin.
"Kieran is still struggling with his calf. They are all serious doubts for the weekend."
Gabby Agbonlahor, meanwhile, is also set to miss Saturday’s game despite returning to Bodymoor Heath this week following an internal investigation into his off-field conduct.
The 29-year-old striker was suspended by Villa last month after he was allegedly pictured partying following their relegation from the Premier League [h/t The Sun], prompting him to resign as club captain and apologise to fans for his behaviour.
His suspension was subsequently lifted on Monday, but the long-serving forward has only been allowed to train with the Under-21s since.
Jores Okore also continues to work with the development squad after being dropped from the first-team last month for refusing to be named as a substitute for the 2-1 home defeat to Bournemouth and is not expected to feature again this season.
Asked about the Danish defender’s situation and Agbonlahor’s status for the Newcastle game, Black said at his press conference: “Gabby’s just been training with the reserves. It’s the same situation with Jores in that regard.
“I’ll have to wait for the outcome of that. Gabby’s training with the reserves, so we’ll have to see on that day by day.”
“I don’t have a problem with them. I only have to administer things the way I do and work within parameters. I don’t have a problem with them personally at all.”