By Alan Hutton

11th Sep, 2021 | 12:00pm

Bailey in line to make first Aston Villa start today v Chelsea after early team news - Hutton

Alan Hutton has suggested Dean Smith could hand Leon Bailey his first Aston Villa start for the trip to Chelsea today.

The former Villa star, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed Emi Buendia’s absence would open the door for the Jamaica international.

As confirmed last month, Buendia and Emi Martinez will miss Argentina’s World Cup qualifier against Bolivia after Villa struck an agreement for their return.

It means Villa will only miss the pair for Saturday’s clash against Chelsea.

Bailey has made one substitute appearance for the Villans to date due to a troublesome hamstring injury.

The Birmingham Mail report he is fit and firing and in real contention to feature versus the Blues.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

As such, Hutton suggested the 24-year-old may take Buendia’s place in the starting XI.

“That’s the one, isn’t it?” Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“I mean, all the reports are talking that’s him ready. He’s obviously had a little niggling injury but he’s had this international break to get over it.

“Whether Dean Smith throws him straight in, we’ll have to wait and see. I mean that could be a big decision. It really depends on how fit he actually is.

“We’ve all been desperate to see him, haven’t we? We’ve not really got a great chance to see what he’s all about as of yet.

“I’m sure the fans are desperate to see him start a game and really set it alight. We know what he’s capable of.

“He’s probably that kind of match-winner that’s bursting to get on that pitch.”

In other news, Aston Villa hijacked Tottenham to seal seven-figure transfer deal.