Aston Villa take on Leicester City at Villa Park in the Premier League on Sunday with both sides harbouring European ambitions.
Visitors Leicester are in a far stronger position than their midlands neighbours, holding a 10-point advantage over Aston Villa and currently 3rd place in the Premier League standings.
That being said, the Foxes have played twice more than Villa, who still have games in hand due to several postponements in their season following a coronavirus outbreak at their training ground in late January.
Dean Smith’s side do have aspirations of European football, which currently looks most likely to be in the Europa League if they maintain their current trajectory.
However, a Champions League finish is by no means out of the equation, but victory against a highflying Leicester side is paramount if those dreams are to become a reality.
The Foxes incidentally were in Europa League action themselves on Thursday but could only thrash out a 0-0 stalemate with Czech side Slavia Prague in the first leg of their Round of 32 tie.
Injuries have punctuated Leicester’s season and the game with Villa will be no different. James Justin was the most recent Foxes man to fall victim to a long-term injury and he is likely to miss the remainder of the campaign with a knee issue.
Wes Morgan remains another who won’t feature, neither will Wesley Fofana or Dennis Praet who are still some way off full fitness.
Ayoze Perez is unavailable with a knock and also misses out, whilst Timothy Castagne is closer to a comeback but the Villa game may come too soon for the Belgian.
For Dean Smith, Matty Cash remains absent with a hamstring strain and he will play no part for Aston Villa until next month.
Kortney Hause is ruled out and is yet to return to training, whilst long-term absentee Wesley remains in rehabilitation for a knee ligament injury.
Aston Villa against Leicester City kicks off at 14:05 on Sunday 21st February.