Saturday 24 March 2018

Aston Villa's Idrissa Gueye in race to make Leicester clash

Aston Villa's Idrissa Gueye is a doubt for their trip to Leicester
Aston Villa's Idrissa Gueye is a doubt for their trip to Leicester

Aston Villa midfielder Idrissa Gueye is in a race against time to face Leicester.

The 25-year-old suffered a hamstring injury during Senegal's 2-0 African Cup of Nations qualifier win over Namibia.

Villa travel to the King Power Stadium in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday with Gueye a doubt but boss Tim Sherwood hopes to have him available.

He said: "He was the one player we didn't want to lose because he's playing so well.

"He picked up a hamstring injury in the 75th minute of the game so I'm hoping that it's just fatigue.

"Normally when you pull a hamstring it's early in the game.

"The physios are assessing him so if it is fatigue, he's got a chance. He's a tough guy.

"When we cut him, I think wires come out of him so we've got a chance. It can't be quick enough for him.

"He loves the hustle and bustle and the physical side of the game. He's a huge presence and a driving force."

Gueye joined from Lille in the summer and has replaced Fabian Delph in midfield after the England star moved to Manchester City for £8million and Sherwood has been impressed with his impact.

He said: "When you look at him you might not think he has the physical presence, but he looks huge out there on the pitch. He changes size when he's on the pitch. He's a driving force.

"You are always going to miss a player of Fabian's quality, no point pretending otherwise."

Sherwood is hopeful Jack Grealish will be fit after an ankle problem but Jores Okore (knee) is out and Liverpool loanee Tiago Ilori is not match fit but Joleon Lescott could make his debut after signing from West Brom.

Sherwood also wants Grealish, who turned 20 on Thursday, to make up his mind over his international future.

He qualifies for both the Republic of Ireland - and has already played for their under-21 side - and England. Both been chasing him to represent them.

Ireland manager Martin O'Neill believes Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson has been putting Grealish under pressure to pick England but Sherwood just wants a resolution.

"I've spoken to Roy Hodgson, Martin O'Neill, Jack Grealish and his father. I have said it is not my decision to make, it is up to those three parties to fight it out, leave me out of it," Sherwood said.

"He hasn't told me. I can't tell him. In his heart of hearts he has to decide whether he is English or Irish. He has to decide.

"I had a similar situation with Nabil Bentaleb, he could play for France or Algeria. He said, 'My blood feels Algerian'. Maybe Jack will feel the same.

"He needs to start playing well for Aston Villa on a regular basis to even be talking about that argument.

"I think both countries are doing a good job, both managers. It's a hard enough job trying to win games let alone trying to convince players to join them."

Press Association

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