Aston Villa set to be without Emi Martínez for Wolves clash

Dean Smith has a selection dilemma for Saturday as Emi Martínez will not return until at least Friday

Aston Villa could be without one of their key players this weekend. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

Emiliano Martínez looks set to miss Aston Villa’s Premier League clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday 16 October.

The goalkeeper is on international duty with Argentina at the moment, playing in their goalless draw with Paraguay and their win over Uruguay.

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Argentina though have a third fixture of the international period, facing off against Peru at the El Monumental in Buenos Aires at midnight on Friday.

Villa play Wolves at Villa Park at 15.00 BST on Saturday, leaving minimal training and recovery time for Martínez, who will be making the almost 7000-mile flight back to the Midlands in the early hours of the morning.

Last month, Villa managed to strike a deal to have their Argentine players released after two games, as had they played, they would have to isolate for ten days given they were in a red-list country in the eyes of the UK Government.

Jed Steer could be set to benefit from the situation. (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

This time however, Martínez will remain with his compatriots for the whole period, which could offer up a selection dilemma for manager Dean Smith.

"Under no circumstances are we going to do the same as last time," said Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni when asked if he would release any of his players back to their Premier League club.

"Now it's a totally different situation, under no circumstances will the players leave before playing the three matches."

His potential absence could be a big blow ahead of a crucial clash with Bruno Lage’s side on Saturday. Martínez has excelled since his move from Arsenal and was most recently recognised for his efforts by being nominated for the prestigious Yashin Trophy. The Yashhin Trophy is run by French football newspaper France Football and is an award for the best goalkeepers in football, which their journalists believe Martinez has been for the past season.

Villa's only other senior goalkeeper is Jed Steer, who has been working as an understudy to Martinez . The 29-year-old has made three appearances this campaign, featuring first in the 6-0 win over Barrow, before playing twice against Chelsea, losing on both occasions.

The Villains are not the only club to be affected by the late scheduling of fixtures in North America. Liverpool, Manchester City and United, as well as Tottenham Hotspur all have players involved for Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, with their team selections likely to be affected.

In other positions, the Villains are hopeful that Leon Bailey and Morgan Sanson will return this week after picking up injuries before the international break but both Keinan Davies and Trezeguet remain sidelined.

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