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Ross Barkley set to return as Aston Villa host Crystal Palace

Aston Villa v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – Villa Park
(Image credit: Laurence Griffiths)

Ross Barkley is expected to be available for Aston Villa’s clash with Crystal Palace on Boxing Day.

The midfielder has been out for a month with a hamstring problem but has returned to training while Ezri Konsa has also shaken off an illness.

Trezeguet remains out with a thigh injury and, although Wesley has started running again, the striker will not return from his long-term knee injury until next year.

Palace will be without former Villa defender Gary Cahill at Villa Park.

The experienced centre-back has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury following last weekend’s 7-0 drubbing at the hands of champions Liverpool.

Striker Christian Benteke – another ex-Villa player – returns from a one-match ban, but Wayne Hennessey (thigh), Nathan Ferguson (knee), Martin Kelly, Mamadou Sakho (both calf) and Connor Wickham (thigh) remain sidelined.

Aston Villa provisional squad: Martinez, Steer, Heaton, Cash, Guilbert, Konsa, Hause, Mings, Engels, Targett, Taylor, Luiz, McGinn, Grealish, Barkley, Ramsey, Elmohamady, Hourihane, Nakamba, El Ghazi, Traore, Watkins.

Provisional Crystal Palace squad: Guaita, Butland, Van Aanholt, Clyne, Ward, Tomkins, Dann, Mitchell, Milivojevic, Kouyate, Schlupp, Riedewald, McArthur, McCarthy, Townsend, Eze, Ayew, Zaha, Benteke, Batshuayi.