Abraham's form limited Kodjia's chances - Aston Villa coach Dean Smith

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With Abraham back from a shoulder injury, the Cote d'Ivoire international could be handed a bench role against West Brom in the play-offs

Aston Villa coach Dean Smith has spoken about the effect of Tammy Abraham's brilliant form on Jonathan Kodjia's season.

Cote d'Ivoire international Kodjia has filled in admirably for on-loan Chelsea striker Abraham's who recently sustained a shoulder injury against Bolton Wanderers.

Kodjia provided two goals in those three season-ending games, including the winner over Millwall that ensured they broke a 106-year winning record.

Abraham had finished the regular season with a club-record 25 goals. Smith believes that Kodjia made only 22 starts because of his teammate's impressive run.

“He’s been brilliant since I’ve been here,” Smith said in a pre-match conference.

“But he’s also been very unfortunate that Tammy has scored 25 goals – the first time anyone has done that for the football club in 40 years.

“Three goals in four games shows me what he can do and he’s getting fitter and fitter.”

Kodjia contributed nine goals - in 39 league games - as they finished sixth in the Championship log to book a play-off spot.

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They welcome West Bromwich Albion to Villa Park for the first leg of the tie and Smith will have his topscorer Abraham back.

On the international scene, Kodjia's Cote d’Ivoire will compete in the Africa Cup of Nations in the off-season.

The Elephants find themselves in Group D, alongside Morocco, South Africa and Namibia.

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