Mar 23, 2014, 11:16 AM EDT
Former Villa striker Peter Crouch returns to his old stomping grounds as a Stoke City look to stretch their three-match unbeaten streak.
However, the home side will be much more focused on the fact that Stoke have not won away from the Britannia since August.
Aston Villa will hope they can avoid being the first in months as they host Crouch and company at Villa Park at 12:00ET live on NBCSN or live online at NBC Sports Live Extra.
Also returning for Villa is a newly-fit Karim El Ahmadi despite being clattered by Ramires in the Chelsea match which earned the defender a straight red. Fabian Delph makes his 27th start of the season, and was tipped by Lambert before the match for a spot in England’s World Cup squad.
For Mark Hughes and Stoke, the news isn’t as helpful. Oussama Assaidi still remains out with a knee injury despite prematch speculation that he could return. Erik Pieters falls into the same category, who limped off the pitch last weekend. Still out are the suspended Jonathan Walters and Charlie Adam.
Peter Crouch isn’t the only former Aston Villa player to make his return to Villa Park. 19-year-old midfielder Charlie Ward, a former Villa academy product, is on the bench for the visitors.
Aston Villa – Guzan; Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Bertrand; El Ahmadi, Westwood, Delph; Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor.
Bench – Steer, Sylla, Holt, Clark, Albrighton, Bennett, Robinson.
Stoke City – Begovic; Pieters, Shawcross, Wilson, Cameron; Arnautovic, Palacios, Whelan, Nzonzi, Odemwingie; Crouch.
Bench – Sorensen; Muniesa, Guidetti, Shea, Wilkinson, Shotton, Ward.
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