Brentford hoping Mbeumo will be fit for Villa game

Brentford boss Thomas Frank is hopeful Bryan Mbeumo will be fit to face Aston Villa on Sunday after the forward missed the defeat by Manchester City with a calf problem.

Mbeumo suffered the injury in the Boxing Day loss at Brighton and joined a lengthy injury list that saw Frank name just eight substitutes instead of the permitted nine for the visit of the champions to the Community Stadium.

The Bees were also without Rico Henry, Vitaly Janelt, Christian Norgaard and Charlie Goode due to a combination of injury, suspension and Covid isolation.

Henry injured his hamstring in last week’s Carabao Cup defeat by Chelsea and has missed the past two matches but Frank said summer signing Kristoffer Ajer is closing in on a return to action.

“Rico is out, but Bryan we hope will be available for Villa but it really will be touch and go,” Frank said.

“We hope Rico will be back for the Liverpool game next month.”

Norwegian defender Ajer, who made an impressive start to his career in England following his £13.5m move from Celtic, has missed almost three months of action due to a hamstring injury but has returned to training and could be included in the squad for the Villa game.

“The good thing now is that he is training with the team,” Frank said.

“He has had four sessions now and of course I would like to get him in the team as quickly as possible.

“I hope he can be on the bench for the Villa game and that will be a decision we will take in the next few days.

“Hopefully we can start him in the Port Vale FA Cup game and see where we go from there.”

Dominic Thompson, who has impressed filling in for Henry, also limped off against City late in the game but Frank said the 21-year-old was only suffering from cramp.