Aston Villa team news ahead of Arsenal clash
Gestede is amongst those declared fit (photo: B'ham Mail)

It looks like Aston Villa may well be without their captain for this weekend's home game against Arsenal, as Remi Garde confirmed that Micah Richards is still a doubt for the fixture.

The Frenchman explained that Richards is still struggling with a persistent knee problem, and hasn't done any outdoor training at the club's Bodymoor Heath training ground this week as a result of it, leaving the chances of him featuring at a minimum.

Skipper missed Southampton game

Richards' sore knee kept him out of last week's 1-1 away draw against Southampton, as Joleon Lescott and Jores Okore made up the central defensive pair, playing together for the first time. 

It could be said that Villa won't miss him if he does miss out, as Lescott scored against the Saints whilst Okore was praised by Garde following the game, as the B6 side secured a valuable away point.

Richards last played in the 3-2 loss against Watford (photo: getty)

Bacuna and Gestede fit and ready

There is some positive news for Villa though, with Garde revealing that both Leandro Bacuna and Rudy Gestede are fit and available for the match, having been doubts previously.

Bacuna could play in the left-back role which he occupied against Southampton, with Garde not prepared to select Kieran Richardson in the position following a series of poor performances. It came as a surprise due to Bacuna being a natural right-back, which would go a long way to explaining why they've been linked with a January move for Ashley Cole.

Gestede will hope to start the game up front, but might be beaten to the spot by Jordan Ayew, who has impressed recently and netted against Watford two weeks ago. However, if Garde decides to drop deep and defend against the Gunners, Gestede could prove useful as a target man to hold the ball up.

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