Ross Barkley and Ezri Konsa are set to return to action for Aston Villa in a huge boost to Dean Smith.
The head coach hopes to have both players available for the Boxing Day clash against Crystal Palace, the first of three Premier League fixtures in just six days.
Villa then take on Chelsea (December 28) and Manchester United (January 1) with festive schedule ramping up.
Barkley has missed the last four matches with a hamstring injury while illness has kept Konsa out for two games.
Barkley sustained the problem against Brighton last month and it was hoped the influential midfielder would be able to feature against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
But Smith opted to hold him back as Villa ran out 3-0 winners. He said: “We didn’t want to take a risk in the colder weather tonight (vs West Brom). It’s one of those injuries. He’ll be fit for Crystal Palace.”
Konsa fell ill on the eve of last week’s goalless draw at home to Burnley and Kortney Hause has stepped in alongside Tyrone Mings at centre-back.
“Ezri’s still ill,” said Smith. “If anyone has a slight illness, we all worry. He should be fine for Crystal Palace.”
Here’s how Villa’s fans reacted…
TI Comboed: Barkley and Konsa back for Palace. Oh my days what an xmas gift.
Christian: Tricky Villans’ title charge is back on.
Tom: We’re actually going to win this league. Ezri and Barkley back for a Boxing Day treat.
Reece Bryant: This is mouthwatering to hear them two coming back.
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MartynTattam: Christmas come early.
Darren Timmins: Don Smith just resting players now due to the cold. We are massive.
Jess: Konsa and Barkley fit for Boxing Day, meaning full strength Villa vs Palace.
Aston Villa Updates: What a bonus!