DEAN’S PROBLEMS MOUNT

DEAN Smith’s injury worries are piling up ahead of their trip to Stoke City.

Villa’s fading play-off hopes have not been helped by a growing list of absentees.


Goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic is a doubt for the clash at the bet365 Stadium and his fitness will be assessed before the game.

The Croatia international was replaced at half-time during Villa’s defeat to West Brom last weekend as he was suffering mild concussion.

It is a problem Smith could do without as he already has midfielder John McGinn suspended for the trip to the Potteries.

But Jack Grealish, Tom Carroll, Axel Tuanzebe are also out of action at a time when Villa need to be at full strength if their play-off bid is to pick up over the final few weeks of the season.

Failure to win at Stoke could see Villa lose touch completely with the top six and needing an almost faultless run-in to May,

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