Aston Villa head coach Dean Smith will miss the team’s friendly with Walsall on Wednesday as he goes into isolation, the club have announced.
Assistant head coach Craig Shakespeare will take the helm as Villa play their first friendly ahead of the 2021/22 Premier League season.
Smith, 50, made 142 appearances for Walsall during his playing career, and also led them from 2011 to 2015. He is entering his fourth season with Aston Villa after joining Brentford in 2018.
After leading them up for promotion in his first year at the helm, Smith’s Villa finished 17th in the Premier League in 2019/20 before an impressive 11th place last season.
They kick off their championship campaign on August 14 with an away game at Watford.
Before that, they lined up friendlies with Stoke City (July 24), Nottingham Forest (July 28), Bristol City (July 31) and Sevilla (August 7).