Aston Villa face West Bromwich Albion at Villa Park this Saturday in a must-win Championship game.
The Villans are six points outside the top six in the second tier and must achieve victory this weekend if they are to have any serious chance of catching their rivals.
Yesterday, Dean Smith’s outfit were handed a boost.
The Baggies will make the short trip across the West Midlands without leading goalscorer Dwight Gayle.
The 28-year-old will be missing after picking up a two-match for ‘successful deception of a match official’ in the Baggies’ game with Nottingham Forest in midweek.
Gayle has bagged 16 goals for Darren Moore’s men this season and will be a big loss.
If anything his omission at the weekend could put Villa’s season back on track.
When the two teams met earlier in the campaign, Gayle notched and was a real handful for the Villa defenders.
The Albion will have an adequate replacement in reserve, but it won’t be anyone with Gayle’s prowess.
Villa are winless in three at the moment and need all the help they can get.
Fans are desperate to see their team back in the Premier League and boss Smith knows he can ill-afford any more mishaps.
The Villa boss will be delighted not to see Gayle’s name on the opposition team sheet at the weekend.
Two games might not seem a lot.
At this stage of the season, however, it could completely derail the Baggies’ campaign.
Villa will be hoping to take full advantage tomorrow.