Unai Emery confirms World Cup winner will not play against Liverpool this week

The Argentine goalkeeper was the country’s hero with starring roles in the World Cup final and quarter final shoot outs

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Aston Villa manager Unai Emery has confirmed that Emiliano Martinez will not be available for his side’s Boxing Day Premier League clash with Liverpool.

Martinez is still in his native homeland celebrating his country’s historic World Cup victory and won’t be back in time for the clash with The Reds.

Martinez will return to the UK next week and Emery has stated that he should be in contention to start against Tottenham Hotspur on January 1.

“We are expecting him to be ready for the game at Tottenham on New Year’s Day. He’s had an excellent World Cup and we’re looking forward to having him back” said Emery.

Later in his press conference, Unai Emery also said he’s so proud of Emiliano Martinez’s World Cup win but added that he’s due a chat with the Argentinian about his controversial celebrations.

This means that it’s most likely that Robin Olsen, the 32 year old Swedish goalkeeper, is the favourite to deputise for Martinez in the game. Olsen himself has a slight injury issue currently too – meaning that Villa may have to turn to their third choice goalkeeper Jed Steer if he doesn’t recover in time. However, Villa are confident that Olsen will be able to recover in time for the match on the weekend.

Emiliano Martinez has courted a lot of controversy for his antics during and after the World Cup final in Qatar. However, his ability as a top class goalkeeper is not in question. Not only did he make key saves in the final and quarter final shoot outs, but he also made a wonderful save in the dying seconds of the final denying France what would most likely have been the winner.

He’s also firmly established himself as Aston Villa’s no.1 since joining from Arsenal in 2020.

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