Villa to make late check on Ireland
Aston Villa will check on the fitness of Stephen Ireland ahead of Kevin MacDonald's final game in charge at Stoke on Monday night. Ireland suffered a hamstring injury during the warm-up to the Everton clash a fortnight ago and was replaced by Nigel Reo-Coker. Steve Sidwell could also come into contention for a place in midfield after playing 90 minutes for the reserves in midweek following his recovery from an Achilles injury. Defender James Collins is expected to be fit after suffering a severe black eye when on duty for Wales against Montenegro last weekend. MacDonald will be in charge as caretaker manager for the final time before Gerard Houllier officially takes command. Kick-off at the Britannia Stadium is at 8pm. Villa (from): Friedel, Luke Young, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Albrighton, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Ashley Young, Downing, Carew, Heskey, Agbonlahor, Ireland, Guzan, Delfouneso, Cuellar, Lichaj, Bannan.
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