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Aston Villa injury news: Emery gives latest updates before Europa Conference League match vs Lille

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Defenders Clement Lenglet and Matty Cash will miss Aston Villa’s Uefa Europa Conference League quarter-final first leg at home to Lille on Thursday, manager Unai Emery has said.

Centre-back Lenglet has a “small problem” and full-back Cash is working alone but close to returning to training, having missed three Premier League matches with a hamstring injury.

Tyrone Mings and Emi Buendia, who will miss the rest of the season with knee injuries, are “progressing well and starting to be on the field,” Emery added, while Boubacar Kamara and Jacob Ramsey will also not feature again in 2023/24.

Villa also have suspension concerns, with Douglas Luiz set to play his final match before sitting out the top-flight games away to Arsenal and at home to Bournemouth.

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Nicolo Zaniolo and Ezri Konsa are back in contention after missing the second leg of Villa’s round of 16 win over Ajax with one-match bans, but John McGinn and Moussa Diaby must avoid a booking if they are to play in Lille on April 18.

Fourth in Ligue 1, Lille are unbeaten in seven matches in all competitions and have won their last two, following up a 2-1 defeat of Lens with another home victory on Friday, beating Marseille 3-1.

Les Dogues beat Sturm Graz 3-0 in their last European away game in the first leg of the round of 16.

“We must always respect the competition,” warned Emery. “Europe is difficult and it’s good to have experiences like we are having in this competition.

“We have gone through some tough moments, like when we lost the first match against Legia Warszawa away and when we won against Zrinjski [on matchday 2] in the last minute.

“We played two legs against Ajax and it was a very good experience for us. We drew there and we didn’t deserve more. At home, we were consistent and played with personality and seriousness, and we won [4-0].”

Aston Villa v Lille: Visitors ‘very good’

Emery voiced his respect for Lille counterpart Paulo Fonseca and singled out the club’s president, Olivier Letang, calling him “very competitive and an experienced man in Europe”.

While the Villans travel to the Premier League-leading Gunners on Sunday, Lille will have a full week to recover.

“They are focusing on this competition and this quarter-final, not playing in the French league in between,” he pointed out.

“They have very good players individually. They are a very competitive team with a very good coach.”

Ben Miller
Ben Miller
Ben has more than 10 years' experience in sports journalism, covering two EURO tournaments, European club competitions, the Premier League, EFL and WSL and a variety of other major sporting events.

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