BIEL VS GREAL

MARCELO BIELSA hopes Jack Grealish CAN play against Leeds on Saturday – even if it makes Aston Villa “scarier”.

Euro 2021 hopeful Grealish was injured for Sunday’s 2-1 home defeat to Leicester and is struggling for the trip to Elland Road.

Aston Villa skipper Jack Grealish has been hailed by Marcelo Bielsa as a 'great player'

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Aston Villa skipper Jack Grealish has been hailed by Marcelo Bielsa as a ‘great player’Credit: PA:Press Association
Elland Road boss Marcelo Bielsa says facing Jack Grealish would be a 'stimulus'

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Elland Road boss Marcelo Bielsa says facing Jack Grealish would be a ‘stimulus’Credit: Reuters

But the Leeds boss said: “He is a great player who can unbalance you.

“I always prefer that opponents have their best players available.

“Even if that fortifies a team, and makes them more scary to face, they’re also a stimulus for us to face such players, to try to neutralise them.”

Villa boss Dean Smith has been cautious about Grealish’s situation.

But he said: “It’s not a recurrence of an outstanding injury or an old injury and it’s not going to be a long-term injury.

“But I’m guided by the medical staff about how long he will be out, and Jack himself, so I can’t tell you any more than that really.

“It’s pretty much on a game by game basis – if not maybe Leeds, then perhaps he’ll be back for Sheffield United.”

Meanwhile, Smith’s Leeds counterpart Bielsa will not rush back talisman Kalvin Phillips in case he breaks down again.

Grealish’s fellow England midfielder Phillips, 25, has missed the last three with a calf injury.

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And the Argentine added: “When he got injured he had an option of having a quicker return.

“But his injury is in his calf and it’s in a place where we have to avoid a recurrence because that would make the situation worse.

“We’re being very cautious so that when he returns he returns for definite.”

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