Aston Villa skipper Ron Vlaar is battling to overcome the calf injury, which forced him out of last weekend’s game at Arsenal. Vlaar was unable to train during the earlier part of the week but the Dutch international defender was able to take some part yesterday and he will be assessed over the weekend. Striker Darren Bent remains doubtful with a foot injury but keeper Shay Given has recovered from a groin problem in time to be part of the squad to face his former club.
Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany seems unlikely to return to action. The Belgium defender has missed five games since suffering a calf injury in the FA Cup fourth-round win at Stoke just over a month ago. It had been hoped the 26-year-old could return against Chelsea last weekend but the problem has lasted longer than expected and Kompany has also had trouble in his other calf. Former Villa midfielder Gareth Barry should be fit to face his old team after two games out with an ankle injury.
Paul Lambert: “Contrary to reports, I spoke to (Andreas Weimann) the other day about it and he has never once indicated what the report said. Have contract talks stalled? No, we are still talking. I’ve spoken to him and everything is fine. Talks are ongoing but that’s normal when you are trying to negotiate. Andi loves it here. I’ve spoken to him. I think there are more important things at this moment in time than worrying about contracts. He’s still under contract so at the minute it’s fine. I don’t think he’ll walk away. I don’t. I think everyone knows agents can inflate people’s salaries.”
Roberto Mancini: “Vinny is getting better in this moment. We hope we can recover him for the next game. We will try for Aston Villa for Monday but it is difficult because he did not train with the team, he trained with the physio. We hope for the FA Cup. The calf is a difficult injury because you think you are okay and then you have a problem. The calf is a strange injury. (Gareth Barry) has trained with the team the last two days and I think he will be ready.”