Hughes prepared for revitalised Villa

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes is confident his players will be ready for the challenge of facing an Aston Villa side on a high from the arrival of Tim Sherwood.

Sherwood was announced as a replacement for Paul Lambert last weekend and watched on from the stands as Villa defeated Leicester City 2-1 in the FA Cup fifth round.

The former Tottenham manager takes charge for the first time when Stoke visit Villa Park in the Premier League on Saturday, with Hughes braced for a Villa team keen to impress. 

"Villa have got a new manager so inevitably there will be a new manager bounce," he said in a media conference on Friday.

"It's a case of players wanting to impress. There's a little edge and an increase in work-rate and focus. We'll be prepared for that. We have to be. 

"They had a good win last weekend which will have lifted them too. 

"Tim Sherwood comes across as a very positive guy and he will have been working on their positive thinking... but we've been doing OK. We've had a couple of poor results but prior to that we were doing OK."

Stoke - who were thrashed 4-1 at Blackburn Rovers in the FA Cup last time out - have been beset by injuries recently, especially in defence, but Hughes is hopeful he could see a handful of players return to action this weekend.

"We have a few injuries," he said. "Ryan [Shawcross] isn't available, but we are hoping we may get Marc Wilson back, who trained [on Thursday], same with Jon Walters and Stephen Ireland too. 

"We will have to check them to see they are OK. Erik Pieters is close too, so we are hopeful he will be available. 

"For the most part, they are the four that look more likely to return at this moment."