Leicester City v Aston Villa: Sherwood braced for traditionally feisty affair

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has called on his side to stand up for themselves on Sunday when they make the short trip to Leicester City in the Premier League.

The Midlands rivals meet this weekend in a fixture that saw three red cards over two league games last season.

A robust challenge from Matty James on Ciaran Clark late in January's 1-1 draw at the King Power Stadium sparked scenes that earned both clubs fines from the Football Association, although there were no such incidents when the sides met again in the FA Cup a month later.

Sherwood watched from the stands that day, prior to formally taking charge, as Villa won 2-1, and the former Tottenham boss would not be surprised if passions ran high again.

Idrissa Gana (hamstring), Jack Grealish (hamstring) and Adama Traore (ankle) are injury doubts, although Joleon Lescott is in contention to make his debut after arriving from West Brom on deadline day.

"We've got to stick up for ourselves but you've also got to make sure you keep 11 men on the field," said Sherwood, whose side face rivals West Brom and Birmingham City in quick succession after Sunday's outing.

"It's hard enough to win in the Premier League with 11 men, let alone 10 or nine, so we'll keep our discipline but be firm and strong.

"We'll give as good as we get. It doesn't seem like they've changed, Nigel Pearson did a great job and Claudio [Ranieri] has gone in there and picked up the reins.

"They know what they are, they're a hard-working, grafting side with a lot of quality and a lot of pace but however the game pans out, we want to be competitive."

While Villa have taken four points from as many games, Leicester were among the Premier League's form sides prior to the international break.

Amid a bright start to Ranieri's spell, Swansea City's Nathan Dyer arrived on a deadline-day loan deal, although the Italian is keen for his side to start afresh this weekend.

"It is important to start with the right mentality, we start with zero points in the Premier League on Sunday," he explained.

"I know the Aston Villa matches are very tough but all the matches are tough. Everybody has come back in very good condition. Some of them are very healthy, [Jamie] Vardy played the [England] match and secured [Euro 2016] qualification, [Christian] Fuchs too.

"[Andy] King was very close with Wales, Kasper [Schmeichel] got a clean sheet for Denmark, [Shinji] Okazaki scored twice for Japan. I am very happy."

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1