Aston Villa v Newcastle preview

Team news ahead of Sunday's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and Newcastle at Villa Park (kick-off 4pm).

Last Updated: 08/04/11 at 15:33

Clark: Returns to Villa squad

Clark: Returns to Villa squad

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Ciaran Clark returns for Aston Villa after sitting out the home defeat by Wolves and the draw at Everton for incurring 10 bookings this season.

Gerard Houllier therefore has a full strength squad to choose from as the Villans look to avenge a 6-0 defeat at St James' Park earlier in the campaign.

Houllier has to decide whether to persevere with the 4-4-2 system he switched to against Everton or once again use Darren Bent as a lone striker.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will be without suspended trio Kevin Nolan, Cheick Tiote and James Perch.

Nolan picked up his 10th booking of the season in last weekend's 4-1 victory over Wolves and must sit out two games, while Tiote completes a similar ban and Perch serves his punishment for a red card on reserve-team duty.

Ryan Taylor returns to contention after completing his three-match suspension and full-back Jose Enrique (hamstring) is fit, but Stephen Ireland is ineligible under the terms of his loan agreement.

French winger Hatem Ben Arfa is back on Tyneside and is expected to resume training with the first-team squad after recovering from a double leg fracture the week after next, but Leon Best is out for the season after undergoing ankle surgery and Dan Gosling (knee) and Alan Smith (ankle) remain on the sidelines.

Aston Villa (from): Friedel, Walker, Collins, Dunne, Luke Young, Downing, Reo-Coker, Makoun, Ashley Young, Agbonlahor, Bent, Marshall, Clark, Heskey, Pires, Albrighton, Delph, Petrov, Cuellar.

Newcastle (from): Harper, Krul, Simpson, Ferguson, Enrique, Coloccini, Williamson, Campbell, S. Taylor, R. Taylor, Barton, Gutierrez, Guthrie, Vuckic, Tavernier, Richardson, Lovenkrands, Ameobi, Ranger, Kuqi.

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