Express & Star

Aston Villa players set for Bodymoor Heath return this week

Villa’s players not involved at the World Cup will report back to Bodymoor Heath later this week to begin preparations for the second half of the season.

Aston Villa have a handful of players at the World Cup

Boss Unai Emery sees the break in the campaign as valuable for implementing his methods and will have most of his squad to work with.

Emi Martinez, Matty Cash, Jan Bednarek and Leander Dendoncker are the club’s only players away in Qatar, with their team-mates next in action on Wednesday week when they visit Cardiff for a match in tribute to Peter Whittingham.

Two further matches have been arranged as part of a warm weather training camp in Dubai early next month, while Villa will also host Emery’s former club Villareal on December 15.

Emery said: “The break will help us. We will have training days to improve and create identity and our style.”