Stoke v Aston Villa preview

Stoke boss Mark Hughes could be without both of his first-choice central defenders for Saturday's Premier League clash with Aston Villa at the Britannia Stadium.

Last Updated: 21/12/13 at 09:47   

Stephen Ireland: Unable to play against parent club Aston Villa

Stephen Ireland: Unable to play against parent club Aston Villa

Robert Huth is definitely missing through injury for the Potters, while a decision will be left on Ryan Shawcross until as late as possible after he picked up a groin strain in the midweek Capital One Cup defeat to Manchester United.

On-loan midfielder Stephen Ireland cannot play against his parent club and while Paul Lambert may not have fancied keeping the Republic of Ireland international at Villa Park, he will be glad to see him sidelined considering his recent purple patch.

Meanwhile, Villa boss Lambert will be without striker Gabriel Agbonlahor after he picked up his fifth yellow card of the season, meaning he is subsequently suspending from Saturday's clash.

There is a boost for Lambert however, in the form of Fabian Delph, who returns to action after completing his ban for the very same reason Agbonlahor must now sit out.

Gary Gardner returned to first-team involvement this week having recovered from a back complaint and fellow midfielder Chris Herd should be fit to play after a facial injury.

Villa captain Ron Vlaar remains a major doubt with a calf injury, while it remains to be seen whether striker Christian Benteke - now without a goal in his last 10 Villa appearances - can keep his place in the starting line-up.

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Premier League Fixtures

Monday, 21 April 2014
20:00
Man City v West Brom
Saturday, 26 April 2014
12:45
Southampton v Everton  
15:00
Fulham v Hull City  
Stoke City v Tottenham  
Swansea v A Villa  
West Brom v West Ham  
17:30
Man Utd v Norwich  
Sunday, 27 April 2014
12:00
Sunderland v Cardiff  
14:05
Liverpool v Chelsea  
16:10
C Palace v Man City  

Barclays Premier League

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Liverpool 35 52 80
2 Chelsea 35 41 75
3 Man City 33 54 71
4 Arsenal 35 21 70
5 Everton 35 23 69
6 Tottenham 35 2 63
7 Man Utd 34 16 57
8 Southampton 35 5 49
9 Newcastle 35 -15 46
10 Stoke City 35 -10 44
11 C Palace 35 -13 43
12 West Ham 35 -10 37
13 Swansea 35 -4 36
14 Hull City 34 -9 36
15 A Villa 34 -14 35
16 West Brom 33 -11 33
17 Norwich 35 -28 32
18 Cardiff 35 -34 30
19 Fulham 35 -42 30
20 Sunderland 34 -24 29

Updated Sun, 20 Apr 2014

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