Thursday 23 February 2017

Bent to return for Villa in visit to Everton

Darren Bent is on course to return to action with Aston Villa this weekend after missing England's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Wales with a groin problem.

The striker was not fit enough to play in England's 3-0 win in Sofia and returned to his club ahead of the 1-0 success over Wales at Wembley.

But Villa's record signing returned to training today and manager Alex McLeish is confident he will be ready to face Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday.

McLeish said: "Bent trained for the first time in 10 days so that gives us optimism for Saturday."

The Republic of Ireland pair of defender Richard Dunne and goalkeeper Shay Given are also fit to face the Toffees after playing against Russia on an artificial pitch in Moscow.

McLeish said: "The only complaint Shay had was a bit of stiffness in his back but the groin situation of the past couple of weeks seems to have cleared up.

"Dunny took a whack on the chin and got four stitches but he has reported back for training feeling good - and so he should.

"He and Shay had a stormer of a game as did Barry Bannan for Scotland. The guys have all acquitted themselves brilliantly on international duty."

Press Association

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