Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has confirmed that his two recent signings are both available to play against Manchester United on Saturday in the Premier League.
Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne have both signed on for the Claret and Blues this month, with the former being on a loan deal from FC Barcelona, and will give the former Liverpool captain’s side a boost ahead of another encounter against Ralf Rangnick’s Reds.
Despite being in training the last few days, Coutinho has not played since early December and Gerrard insists that he will not rush his former Liverpool teammate into action despite missing John McGinn in the middle of midfield due to suspension.
“They’re available,” Gerrard told club media. “Philippe’s trained for three days now with no issues. We obviously have to build his match sharpness and match fitness up.
“Lucas is slightly different. He’s been involved in group training for quite some time and he’s been available for Everton before he arrived.
“They’re both available selection with the group and they’re both in a good place but, obviously, decisions will come off the back of information we’ve had of both players over the last couple of days.”
United were 1-0 victors at Olf Trafford last time out against Villa in the FA Cup third round. Scott McTominay salvaged a win for the hosts in a match where Gerrard’s team had two goals disallowed. He and his team will be looking to turn things around in the Premier League on Saturday.
Though, The Reds were also given a fitness boost this afternoon, with Rangnick confirming that Harry Maguire, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo should be available for the trip to Birmingham.
In the reverse fixture, The Reds fell at the hands of a late goal from Kortney Hause. Bruno Fernandes had the chance to equalise from the spot in the dying stages of the game but was unable to find the target with his effort.