Aston Villa news: Dean Smith expecting massive starting XI boost for Wolves clash

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Journalist Luke Hatfield says that Aston Villa are confident that Emiliano Martinez will be available to start against Wolves on Saturday.

Martinez is currently in South America representing Argentina in their World Cup qualifiers but isn't likely to return until Friday morning at the earliest.

What's the latest news with Martinez?

Martinez was ever-present in the Premier League last season for Villa following his move from Arsenal but has already missed one game due to his international commitments when he was forced to sit out of the defeat to Chelsea last month.

His absence at Stamford Bridge ended a run of 49 consecutive league starts, but he's once again under threat of missing out having travelled to the South America for Argentina's three World Cup qualifiers.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

Martinez has already played twice for his nation against Paraguay and Uruguay earlier this week and is in line to start against Peru in the early hours of Friday morning, with the game kicking off less than 48 hours before Villa host Wolves in their Midlands derby.

Despite the quick turnaround, Hatfield is confident that Villa won't suffer a similar situation to last month when Jed Steer was called upon for the clash with Chelsea and is convinced Martinez will be ready to start.

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What did Hatfield say?

He told GIVEMESPORT: "I think Villa are hopeful that he will be able to feature. Villa are expecting to have Martinez between the sticks, if it's all possible. It depends how he travels and how he feels, but they're hopeful because he's such a key player for them."

Who will play if Martinez doesn't make it?

Should Martinez not return in time and Villa are forced to change their goalkeeper, Steer will deputise once again.

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In fairness, the 29-year-old has done well when called upon this season.

Two of his three outings this season have come away to Chelsea and whilst both ended in defeats, Steer could have done little to prevent any of the four goals that were scored past him, whilst he enjoyed a must more easier evening at Barrow in the Carabao Cup.

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