Dean Smith braced for huge Aston Villa blow ahead of Wolves clash

Aston Villa are preparing for another game without Emiliano Martinez after Argentina again opted to call up the goalkeeper for their upcoming internationals.

Martinez, 29, has cemented his place as Argentina’s number one over the past 12 months and has been instrumental in their Copa America victory over the summer.

The Villa shooter returned to his country last month, alongside teammate Emiliano Buendia, and both players were forced into self-isolation for 10 days after leaving Argentina.

Argentina is currently on the UK’s Coronavirus Red List, which means anyone arriving to these coasts from the South American nation must self-isolate for 10 days.

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Martinez and Buendia completed their isolation in Croatia last month before coming back for the club’s 3-0 win over Everton at Villa Park.

Their selection in September saw them miss the Premier League game at Chelsea, which Villa lost 3-0, and it is now likely that Martinez will be forced to miss the West Midlands derby with Wolverhampton Wanderers on October 16.

Martinez was included in Lionel Scaloni’s 30-man squad to face Paraguay, Uruguay and Peru from October 8-15.

Villa gave Martinez permission to travel for Argentina matches last month on the condition that he does not take part in the final qualifying match against Bolivia.

It is likely that Villa will seek a similar deal this time around. If Martinez appears in Argentina’s third game in October’s calendar, against Peru in the early hours of October 15, he will miss Villa’s trip to Arsenal on October 22 as well as the game with Wolves.

Dean Smith will be reluctant to play a game without his star goalkeeper, but Villa will continue to grant Martinez’s wish to represent his country.

The club are hopeful Martinez won’t be caught up in the drama like last month when health officials stormed the pitch as Argentina played against Brazil in Sao Paulo.

Martinez was one of four Premier League players accused of failing to follow strict Covid-19 protocols by Brazilian health authorities and the match was abandoned.

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