Birkir Bjarnason is likely to miss out for Aston Villa, with Dean Smith revealing that the midfielder is “struggling” and “suffering pain” in his groin ahead of Sunday’s meeting with Birmingham City. The 30-year-old has played just 41 minutes of Championship football for Villa since mid-October and faces a race to be fit in time for the weekend.
Smith has a number of injury doubts ahead of their clash with the Blues, with Neil Taylor only recently back in training after picking up a knock, James Chester having suffered an injury on international duty and John McGinn also forced to return to Villa early from Scotland duty.
All three players will be assessed before a decision is made for Sunday, and Smith said to the club’s official website on Bjarnason’s progress: “Bjarnason is struggling a bit – he’s suffering some inguinal pain around the groin area. He’s not really trained these last couple of weeks, so we’ll have to wait and see on him.”
The Icelandic international hasn’t been a regular this season, making only two appearances from five under Smith. He’s been an unused substitute on two occasions (versus Norwich City on October 23 and versus Derby County on November 10) and was left out of the matchday squad entirely against Bolton wanderers on November 2.
If McGinn doesn’t start against Birmingham, Bjarnason or Glenn Whelan could replace him in midfield.