Monday 20 January 2020

Duo make Villa returns

Ron Vlaar, right, will make a return for Aston Villa
Ron Vlaar, right, will make a return for Aston Villa

Ron Vlaar and Aly Cissokho will return for Aston Villa for the Barclays Premier League visit of Hull.

Skipper Vlaar (knee) and Cissokho (ankle) were not risked in Wednesday's 1-0 Capital One Cup defeat to Leyton Orient.

Jores Okore (knee) is also sidelined although he is only expected to be out for a number of days. Brad Guzan will replace Shay Given in goal after being rested in midweek.

Meanwhile, boss Paul Lambert has revealed striker Darren Bent is not for sale in what appears to be a huge transfer U-turn.

The £24million record signing looked to have no future under Lambert when he lost the captaincy in 2012 and was sent on loan to Fulham last season.

However, Bent is back in the squad this year, along with former outcast Alan Hutton, with chairman Randy Lerner keen for Lambert to use the top earners rather than waste a wage.

And with Christian Benteke and Libor Kozak recovering from serious long-term injuries, Lambert will resist any interest in Bent ahead of Monday's transfer deadline.

"I do expect him to be here at the end of the transfer window," said Lambert, who has been linked with Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley.

"You would keep Darren. As I said before, you do what's right for Aston Villa.

"No one will go until I say so. You keep all your players and I don't see us letting anyone go right now.

"Nobody will leave without me saying. I don't think any player like that will move. Darren's here and nobody will be going."

Hull's new signing Michael Dawson could make an immediate debut as the Tigers look to put their Europa League disappointment behind them.

Dawson swapped Tottenham for the Tigers on Tuesday, having been on Hull boss Steve Bruce's radar all summer.

In doing so, he followed in the footsteps of sibling Andy, who spent 10 years with the club and represented them in all four professional divisions.

When Spurs visited East Yorkshire last season the 30-year-old was told in no uncertain terms he was a poor man's version of their cult hero, but that all changed when he was paraded on the pitch at half-time on Thursday' against Lokeren.

"It was all light-hearted (last season). Had Spurs not been 1-0 down at the time I might have given the fans a wave, but it was all good fun," he said.

"The reception I got on Thursday night was massive, it was a massive welcome and I am looking forward to repaying them for signing me and I'm sure the fans will be right behind me.

"Obviously Andy had 10 years at this football club and had a great career here. He played in every league for them. Now it's down to me to get on with my own career and perform, and I'm sure he will be here supporting me and Hull City whenever he can.

"I'm excited to get started now."

Dawson would be a like-for-like replacement for James Chester, who is suspended after last week's red card against Stoke.

Manager Steve Bruce made six changes for the midweek clash against Lokeren and should restore the likes of Tom Huddlestone, Nikica Jelavic, Andrew Robertson and Tom Ince to his starting XI.

PA Media

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