By Gabriel Agbonlahor

17th Dec, 2020 | 1:00pm

'No Offence But...' - Exclusive: Agbonlahor reacts to early Villa team news pre-Burnley

Gabriel Agbonlahor is adamant that Aston Villa will be able to cope “quite easily” without suspended pair Matty Cash and Douglas Luiz against Burnley.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the legendary former Villa striker did admit it is “frustrating” for Dean Smith to be without the duo who have started all of Villa’s Premier League games this season.

Luiz was sent off in Villa’s Midlands Derby against Wolves after picking up two yellow cards and will miss the game against Burnley on Thursday.

Cash picked up his fifth yellow card of the season at Molineux and will also miss the visit of the Clarets.

The pair are two of nine players that have started every Premier League game for Smith’s side this campaign meaning he will be forced into making rare changes to his starting XI.

Asked by Football Insider whether Smith will be gutted to be without Cash and Luiz, Agbonlahor said: “I don’t see it as a blow, I see it in another way.

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“I’d rather lose Douglas Luiz and Matty Cash for Burnley at home than Crystal Palace and Chelsea.

“No offence to Burnley, but it’s the sort of game where you can afford to be without Cash and Luiz.

“Yes, it’s frustrating that they’re suspended. But it’s the sort of game that Aston Villa should cope quite easily without those players playing.”

Defensive midfielder Luiz, 22, and full-back Cash, 23, have played a key role in Villa’s defence keeping five clean sheets in their first 10 Premier League games.

Last season the Midlands giants kept just seven clean sheets in their 38 Premier League games as they avoided relegation by just a point.

In other news, Kevin Phillips has claimed an Aston Villa teenager may be the next Wayne Rooney.