Express & Star

Aston Villa sweating on fitness of duo ahead of Arsenal clash

Villa boss Unai Emery is preparing to make a late decision on Clement Lenglet and Matty Cash’s involvement at Arsenal on Sunday.


The pair have both returned to group training at Bodymoor Heath, though Emery will wait until after Saturday’s final session before deciding whether to include them in his squad.

Right-back Cash has not featured since suffering a hamstring injury while playing for Poland during last month’s international break, while centre-back Lenglet has been unavailable for the last two matches with a niggle.

“Lenglet and Cash are training today with the group but we will work tomorrow again and see how they feel before making a decision,” said Emery.

Villa enter the weekend sitting fifth in the Premier League, behind Tottenham on goal difference in the race for a guaranteed Champions League place.

Emery is demanding his team become stronger down the stretch, having become concerned at the number of chances they are giving opponents.

Villa let slip a 2-0 lead to draw 3-3 with Brentford in their most recent outing, while Emi Martinez was required to make several saves in Thursday’s 2-1 Europa Conference League win over Lille.

“We’ve conceded some chances we have to try to avoid,” said Emery.

“It’s tactically, being stronger defensively and when we are in control of the game as well, try to keep the ball position better.”