Aston Villa v Stoke City: Sherwood aiming to hit the ground running
Tim Sherwood will attempt to deliver the Midas touch when he takes charge of Premier League strugglers Aston Villa for the first time against Stoke City on Saturday.
Sherwood was appointed as Paul Lambert's successor last Saturday after the Scot left the club following a dismal run of five consecutive top-flight defeats.
The new boss watched from the stands and delivered a rousing half-time team talk, following a dour goalless opening 45 minutes, as Villa beat Leicester City 2-1 in the FA Cup fifth round a day after arriving at the club.
Sherwood, who on Thursday added Mark Robson and Seamus Brady to his backroom staff, spoke of the need for Villa to start "throwing a few punches" and make Villa Park a fortress as they attempt to climb out of the relegation zone.
The former Blackburn Rovers midfielder hit the ground running when he took over as Tottenham head coach, masterminding five victories and a draw from his first six games in charge of the London club.
Lambert paid the price for a dreadful spell of 10 Premier League matches without a victory, in which they scored only two goals, and Sherwood must stop the rot in order to arrest Villa's alarming slide.
Andreas Weimann scored the only goal of the game as Villa won at Stoke on the opening day of the season and another three points this weekend will ensure they climb out of the bottom three as fellow strugglers Hull City and QPR also face each other on Saturday.
Injury-hit Stoke head to Villa Park on the back of a 4-1 FA Cup hammering at Championship side Blackburn Rovers last weekend.
That shock defeat not only left Stoke red-faced, but it also left them without Geoff Cameron due to suspension after he was sent off at Ewood Park, while Marc Muniesa suffered a torn hamstring in the same game.
With captain Ryan Shawcross (back) also sidelined, Dionatan Teixeira could make his first league appearance of the season and Andy Wilkinson is into contention for a start after recently returning from a loan spell at Millwall.
Erik Pieters (hernia), Marc Wilson (groin), Stephen Ireland (hamstring), Peter Crouch (groin and hip) and Jon Walters (knee) are expected to be available.
Stoke midfielder Glenn Whelan is not expecting a backlash from Stoke's travelling supporters following their FA Cup thrashing.
He told the Sentinel: "Ever since I've been here they have supported us through thick and thin, and I'm sure they will be no different on Saturday.
"Hopefully, they will get a different Stoke City team compared to last Saturday, the one that's shown up for most of the season.
"Villa Park is one of the closest grounds for our fans to get to and they always turn up in numbers.
"They are a proud and loyal bunch and one result last Saturday isn't going to change that."
Gabby Agbonlahor (hamstring) and Carles Gil (groin) are back in contention for Villa, but Nathan Baker (knock) and Philippe Senderos (thigh) are doubts.
Libor Kozak (broken leg) is a long-term absentee, but Sherwood is hoping the striker will feature before the end of the season.