Unai Emery issues triple Aston Villa injury update ahead of AZ Alkmaar clash

Aston Villa's Spanish head coach Unai Emery reactss ahead of the English Premier League football match between Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa at The City Ground in Nottingham, central England, on November 5, 2023. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Unai Emery has issued an Aston Villa injury update ahead of Thursday night's Europa Conference League clash with AZ Alkmaar. Villa slipped up in the Premier League over the weekend, losing to Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest and suffering something of a reality check after a fine start to the season.

Even with that result, Villa remain in the thick of the Champions League chase, but they still have plenty of work to do if they want to progress in the Conference League. Villa are currently second in their group, level on points with Legia Warsaw and three points ahead of both Zrinjski and AZ Alkmaar, and they play the latter on Thursday night in a potentially defining clash.

Ahead of the visit of the Dutch side, Villa have a number of injury question marks, but Emery confirmed some good news in relation to Matty Cash, who picked up a blow over the weekend, saying: "He didn't have a big problem. it was only a small problem."

Two players who will not feature on Thursday are Alex Moreno and Jacob Ramsey, but both are getting closer, according to the Villa boss. He added: "Alex Moreno is close to starting to play again because he is feeling very well. Jacob Ramsey should be available after the international break."

AZ Alkmaar are currently second in Eredivisie, seven points behind leaders PSV with a game in-hand to play. Though, Villa did beat them 4-1 in the reverse fixture, in the Netherlands, establishing a head-to-head and three-point advantage ahead of this meeting at Villa Park.