Lincoln boss Chris Sutton is able to welcome back a clutch of players for his side's home game against Port Vale.

Injury, suspension and ineligibility saw City's list of absentees for the FA Cup tie at Northwich spill into double figures.

Defenders Aaron Brown and Ian Pearce come back into the reckoning after serving three-match bans while Sutton's options at the back are boosted further by the return of Aston Villa duo Nathan Barker and Eric Lichaj, who are not permitted to play in the cup.

Midfielder Michael Gordon is back in contention after being cup-tied for the second-round clash, while Delroy Facey will be included in the squad for the first time since his arrival on loan from Notts County after he was also cup-tied for Saturday's 3-1 win.

Aston Villa midfielder Chris Herd, who impressed on his debut against the Vics, is likely to keep his place in the side and make his home bow. On-loan midfielders Anthony Pulis and Sergio Torres (ankle) could also return after knocks.

However, defender Paul Green (hip) and strikers Paul Connor (knee) and Lenell John-Lewis (ankle) remain out.

Port Vale are boosted by the return of Sean Rigg as they look to get back to winning ways.

The on-loan striker was cup-tied for Saturday's 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Huddersfield, where the gulf in quality between Vale and the League One promotion hopefuls was evident for all to see.

Captain Tommy Fraser was sorely missed in the middle of the park and Vale will have to do without him again at Sincil Bank as he serves the final game of a three-match ban.

Centre-back Gareth Owen also continues to miss out as he recovers from a successful operation on Friday to repair his fractured cheekbone, with Luke Prosser likely to step in once again.

Attacker Louis Dodds and central midfielder Jason Jarrett dropped to the bench against the Terriers as Rob Taylor and Adam Yates earned recalls.

And it will be down to manager Micky Adams to decide whether to keep faith with the same starting XI as Vale look to arrest a run of form that has seen them fail to win their last three in all competitions, also tasting success just once in their previous nine.

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