The 30-year-old forward is likely to overcome illness and start for Tony Pulis' men at the Britannia Stadium as the Potters look to bounce back from defeat to Manchester City
Huth, Woodgate, Shawcross, Wilson
Shotton, Whitehead, Palacios, Etherington
Clark, Collins, Dunne, Warnock
N’Zogbia, Ireland, Petrov, Albrighton
However, the Potters are likely to be missing influential midfielder Glenn Whelan, who is struggling with a calf problem, and therefore Wilson Palacios should start alongside Dean Whitehead in the centre of midfield again.
Twelfth-placed Villa are also set for good news in the striking department with Darren Bent set to start for Alex McLeish's men after missing two games with a thigh injury and he will almost certainly partner Gabriel Agbonlahor in a two-pronged attack.
The Scot will have to do without Chris Herd however, as the young Australian is going to be out for at least a fortnight with an ankle injury. In addition, Alan Hutton is unavailable for selection after being sent off late on in the loss to Arsenal and Ciaran Clark should step in at right back.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- If Peter Crouch does indeed start for Stoke against his old club, the 30-year-old needs only one more goal to reach his century in league football.
- Tony Pulis' men have attempted the lowest amount of shots in the league this season (48).
- This is the first time that the Potters have been in the top half of the Premier League at Christmas.
- Aston Villa have never won a match at the Britannia Stadium.
- If the Villans were to pick up a win in Staffordshire, it would be the club's 50th over the Potters.
- Marc Albrighton got on the scoresheet against Arsenal in midweek to score the Premier League's 20,000th goal.
- Alex McLeish's men have only one win in eight matches against top half opposition so far this season.
- Villa's Christmas points tally of 19 is their lowest for over half a decade