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16th Oct, 2016 | 11:50am

Steve Bruce delivers fitness update on senior Aston Villa pair

By Dominic Toner

Michah Richards and Tommy Elphick are both serious doubts for Aston Villa ahead of their next match.

Villa travel to Reading on Tuesday for a Championship encounter and are set to be missing two senior defenders.

Steve Bruce picked up a point in his first game as manager of Villa on Saturday, with penalties from Jonathan Kodjia and Helder Costa ensuring a 1-1 draw against Wolves at home.

Richards, 28, and Elphick, 29, started the match against Wolves but were both substituted off in the second-half with suspected calf injuries.

Bruce has confirmed that the pair are serious doubts for the match against Reading, as cited by the club’s official Twitter account.

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Villa will be expecting a difficult match against opponents Reading in the league, who currently sit just one place outside of the play-off positions.

Club captain Elphick has started every league game this season since his summer arrival from Bournemouth.

The centre-back will be a colossal blow in the heart of defence and Nathan Baker would be the likely replacement.

Richards has been a fringe player for Villa this campaign, but was handed a lifeline by the new manager Bruce.

Villa will be desperate to pick up a positive result on Tuesday and will not be encouraged by injuries.

The Midlands club currently sit 20th in the table and are just one point above the relegation zone.

The club were relegated from the top-flight last season and have struggled adjusting to the Championship, winning just one game in their opening 12 league matches.

In other Aston Villa team news, Robbie Savage reveals why Bruce is the perfect fit for the club.