Aston Villa Vs Newcastle United, Sun 10 Apr 2011

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Aston Villa: Friedel; Walker, Dunne, Collins, L Young; Downing, Makoun, Petrov, A Young; Agbonlahor, Bent.

Subs: Pires, Albrighton, Heskey, Reo-Coker, Clark, Cuellar, Marshall.

Newcastle: Harper, Simpson, S.Taylor Williamson, Enrique; Barton, Collocini, Guthrie, Guttierez; Lovenkrands, Ranger.

Subs: Krul, Taylor, Ferguson, Donaldson, Tavernier, Richardson, Kuqi

Aston Villa midfielder Ciaran Clark will return after suspension for the home Barclays Premier League clash with Newcastle on Sunday.

Clark had to serve a two-match ban for incurring 10 bookings this season and was ruled out of the home defeat by Wolves and the draw at Everton, and admits he may have to wait to earn a recall.

He said: "It is always a shame when you're playing well and in and around the team and you pick up a suspension or injury.

"But if people come in and do well you know that they are going to be in the team the following week and then you are just going to have to bide your time. I know I will have to work hard and show in training that I am good enough to be involved."

Villa boss Gerard Houllier has a full strength squad to choose from as his players look to avenge a 6-0 defeat at St James' Park earlier in the campaign.

Houllier has to decide whether to persevere with the 4-4-2 system he switched to against Everton or revert to operating with record signing Darren Bent as the sole striker.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will be without suspended trio Kevin Nolan, Cheick Tiote and James Perch.

Skipper Nolan picked up his 10th booking of the season in last weekend's 4-1 victory over Wolves and must sit out two games, while Tiote completes a similar ban and Perch serves his punishment for a red card on reserve-team duty.


Ryan Taylor returns to contention after completing his three-match suspension and full-back Jose Enrique (hamstring) is fit, but Stephen Ireland is ineligible under the terms of his loan agreement.

French winger Hatem Ben Arfa is back on Tyneside and is expected to resume training with the first-team squad after recovering from a double leg fracture the week after next, but Leon Best is out for the season after undergoing ankle surgery and Dan Gosling (knee) and Alan Smith (ankle) remain on the sidelines.

Pardew says he will not seek to gag outspoken midfielder Joey Barton after handing him the captain's armband.

The 28-year-old will lead the Magpies out in the absence of Nolan at the end of a week which has once again seen him hit the headlines.

Barton's brutally frank comments over his own England pedigree and, in his opinion, Gareth Barry's lack of one, the national team's chances of glory and his infamous clash with former Manchester City team-mate Ousmane Dabo, have made for interesting reading.

However, Pardew insists he did not think twice about asking a man who has had to be honest with himself over his off-the-field problems to take over from Nolan.

You have got to face your demons and deal with them, and he has done that," said Pardew. "I can't say that I agree with all of Joey's opinions, but they are his opinions and he is strong enough to express them.

"That's Joey. That's his opinion and I am not going to change his opinions. He will be the captain on Sunday of this football club and I expect him to carry that armband on to the pitch with discipline and a normal performance from Joey, if not perhaps better than that because he has got the armband."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Premier League
Newcastle United
Aston Villa

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