Aston Villa Vs Burnley, Sun 21 Feb 2010

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Aston Villa hope to have strikers Gabriel Agbonlahor and Emile Heskey available for Sunday's clash with Burnley at Villa Park.

Agbonlahor missed last weekend's FA Cup tie at Crystal Palace with the leg injury he picked up in the Premier League game against Manchester United.

Heskey was forced off against Palace with a groin problem but both he and Agbonlahor have been able to train this week.

Captain Stiliyan Petrov will retain his starting role as he continues to battle against nagging ankle and Achilles problems.

Full-back Stephen Warnock should also continue after making his comeback from a shin injury against Palace.

Having Heskey available against Burnley, for the FA Cup replay against Palace on Wednesday and the Carling Cup Final would be a massive boost for boss Martin O'Neill who hopes the next week will not end in a massive let down.

The former Celtic boss added: "By Sunday week it will be one competition gone whether we win or lose.

"I am hoping that by the end of next week we have had some reward for the effort the team has put in.

"Obviously, I remember last season when we had a fortnight of big games.

"I remember it very clearly. We lost against Chelsea, played the return game in the UEFA Cup in Moscow and lost and then returned and conceded a two-goal lead against Stoke.

"I think, although I didn't know it at the time, that was a serious blow.

"As I look back and review what happened we took that game into the match against Manchester City and lost. So suddenly the lead we had hoped to maintain had evaporated in the space of a week. But that is the thing that can happen.

"Whether we are now better equipped to deal with the current situation I am not sure as we have gone with the same group of players to a large extent.

"What I do think is that we have been able to cope better defensively."

Burnley defender Leon Cort is expected to be fit.

Cort, signed from Stoke last month, was forced off with a groin injury in the Clarets' 3-0 defeat at Fulham 10 days ago.

Veteran Graham Alexander, missing for the last three weeks with a calf problem, is rated 50-50 to return.

Stephen Jordan (hamstring) and Chris McCann (knee) could come back into contention but Steven Caldwell (groin) is still sidelined.

Burnley have slipped into the bottom after losing five of their last six games but Villa's recent form is not brilliant either.

Martin O'Neill's men, who play in the Carling Cup final next weekend, have won just one in seven and scored three goals along the way.

Boss Brian Laws believes that his side can break their away duck at Villa Park.

He said: "There is no point getting on the bus if you don't believe you can get a win.

"You might as well go and hand the points to Aston Villa. Do I want to do that? No. I want to have a go at them.

"Nobody is expecting us to get a result other than ourselves.

"If it doesn't happen on Sunday, it will happen somewhere else. That is the mindset we have got to have."

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

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