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Ross Barkley expected to miss at least two Aston Villa fixtures with hamstring injury

Villa have been dealt a blow with a hamstring injury likely to rule Ross Barkley out of at least their next two Premier League matches.

Ross Barkley was injured in the first minute of Villa's defeat to Brighton.
Ross Barkley was injured in the first minute of Villa's defeat to Brighton.

Barkley sustained the injury in the first minute of Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Brighton and though initial scans have shown the injury is not too serious, the on-loan Chelsea ace is expected to miss next Monday’s trip to West Ham and the following weekend’s home fixture with Newcastle.

The Midlands derby against Wolves at Molineux, currently scheduled for December 12, is the earliest Barkley might return.

His loss is the first significant injury setback suffered by Villa this season and head coach Dean Smith will turn to either Bertrand Traore or Conor Hourihane to fill the void.

Traore, a £19million signing from Lyon in the recent transfer window, replaced Barkley off the bench against the Seagulls.

Hourihane, meanwhile, saw his first Premier League action since September after being introduced as a late substitute in Saturday’s match.

The Republic of Ireland international was the man to make way when Villa secured the capture of Barkley on a season-long loan, but is still regarded as an important player by Smith.

Barkley, hailed as a statement signing by the head coach, had scored two goals in five appearances for Villa prior to Saturday and played a key role in impressive wins over Liverpool and Arsenal.

Villa will face West Ham aiming to continue their excellent away form. Though the defeat to Brighton was their third in four Premier League matches, Smith’s men boast a 100 per cent record on their travels, where they are also yet to concede a goal.

An inability to take chances at key moments has, meanwhile, been a factor in all three losses.

“We are all frustrated after Saturday. I felt like we had a lot of big chances, especially in the first half, where I felt we should have scored goals,” said defender Ezri Konsa.

“I think we all know that if we score those big chances then we win the game.

“We gave sloppy goals away too. We know we’re better than that and we’ve proved that throughout the season.”

Kortney Hause, out since September with a groin issue, should return to provide cover in defence.

His fellow centre-back Bjorn Engels (thigh) and right-back Frederic Guilbert (side strain) are Villa’s other two injury absentees at present.

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