HomeEuropa Conference LeagueEmery unsure on Martinez involvement as Villa face make-or-break Conference League clash

Emery unsure on Martinez involvement as Villa face make-or-break Conference League clash


Aston Villa boss Unai Emery is unsure whether Emiliano Martinez will be able to face Olympiacos in the decisive second leg of their Europa Conference League semi-final tie on Thursday.

Villa travel to Piraeus requiring a dramatic turnaround after suffering a surprise 4-2 defeat on home soil in last week’s first leg, with Ayoub El Kaabi scoring a hat-trick for the Greek giants.

Emery’s side were without World Cup-winning goalkeeper Martinez for that match, as well as for Sunday’s 1-0 Premier League defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion, after he sustained a thigh injury during a 2-2 draw with Chelsea.

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Martinez would have missed last week’s first leg even if fit, with three yellow cards in the Conference League bringing him a one-match ban.

While he has returned to training this week, Villa will make a late check on his fitness and Emery has full faith in Robin Olsen’s ability to step in if required.

Asked if Martinez will play at Wednesday’s pre-match press conference, the four-time Europa League champion said: “I don’t know.

“He’s with us today, but I don’t want to give information to you, he was injured last week after the match against Chelsea, out for 10 days.

“Tomorrow, I will speak with him and the doctor to see if he is 100 per cent fit to play, but I believe in Olsen and I’m building the team not just with the players in the starting XI.

“If we did that we would be dead now because we’ve had a lot of players injured. Tomorrow if Martinez is available then 100 per cent he will play, but if not then Olsen will play.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.


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