Bent and Holman return to Aston Villa squad for Stoke clash

Manager Paul Lambert has confirmed that the sidelined duo will be available for Saturday's relegation tussle with the Potters but fears Ciaran Clark will be unavailable.
Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has revealed that the injured Darren Bent and Brett Holman will both be in the squad for the Villans' vital trip to Stoke City on Saturday.

The Australian midfielder missed the 2-1 defeat against Liverpool with a hamstring issue, while the Englishman hasn't featured since Feb. 10 due to a variety of issues, including a virus and an ankle problem. Lambert has now confirmed that he will have both players at his disposal for Saturday's important match at the Britannia Stadium.

"Darren has trained every day. He will be in the squad," Lambert told the club's official website. "Darren had that month or so off when he couldn't do anything with his ankle. But he is back fit now and trained again this morning and is in the squad.

"Brett hasn't been getting in, because Charles [N'Zogbia] has been playing extremely well.

"He wasn't fit for Liverpool. He is fit now. He has trained this week so he is back in the fray."

Lambert was less confident of defender Ciaran Clark's involvement, however, after the 23-year-old picked up a shoulder injury while on international duty with the Republic of Ireland on March 26.

"Ciaran has still got a little bit of a problem," Lambert continued. "We'll see how he is the rest of the week.

"But he's still got a problem with his shoulder. He is still a doubt."

Villa is in need of points to combat a drop to the League Championship, sitting atop the relegation zone on 30 points behind a jumble of teams within range of falling. Stoke, on 34 points in 13th place and winless in its last five matches, is one of them ahead of the teams' clash at Britannia Stadium.

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