Leeds United handed pre-Aston Villa boost with Jack Grealish ruled out

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Leeds United have been handed a major boost ahead of their Premier League clash against Aston Villa, with Jack Grealish ruled out with an injury.

The Villa talisman missed the game against Leicester last week, which of course sparked the whole FPL controversy when news of him missing out against the Foxes was leaked well before kick-off.

Now, Dean Smith has confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Grealish will once again be missing from Villa’s squad, revealing: “He won’t be ready. He had some discomfort, so he went to see the doctor and they decided that he needed a period of rest. I believe that he’s very close to being pain-free.”

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The £45m-rated star has once again been the source of Villa’s inspiration, racking up seven goals and providing 12 assists in all competitions this season.

Former Villa man Kieran Richardson has waxed lyrical about the England international, saying: “Jack Grealish, he’s a phenomenal talent. When I was there (Villa) playing he was coming through and you could see from the get-go he was a top, top player.

“The way he can just ghost past players, he’s so strong, he rides challenges. Even if you knock him down he’ll get back up and keep going, he won’t shy away from anything. He’s very confident on the ball, he’ll take the ball whenever he can. Do you know who he reminds me of? Ginola, where he just goes past players, he can do that all day long, he’s got a great change of pace as well.”

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When Grealish’s potential absence was put to Bielsa, the Leeds boss insisted that he rather the Villa star was fit and available, saying: “I always prefer that opponents have their best players available because even if that fortifies a team and makes them more scary to face, it’s also a stimulus for us to face such players and to try to neutralise them.”

While Bielsa may have been sincere about it, there’s no questioning that Leeds’ chances of victory have been significantly boosted by Grealish’s absence. It’s a bit of pre-match news that will surely have the Whites boss secretly buzzing.