Crouch back to take on Villa

Striker Peter Crouch is expected to be back in contention for Stoke after he missed the defeat at Manchester City on Wednesday through illness.

Glenn Whelan (calf) is again doubtful but his fellow midfielder, Matthew Etherington, could return after a slight strain and defender Ryan Shawcross is back from suspension.

Aston Villa are optimistic that joint top-scorer Darren Bent will be available, having returned to training after being ruled out of the previous two games with a thigh injury.

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Fellow striker Emile Heskey (Achilles) and central defender James Collins (knee) are also expected to be in contention after missing the midweek home defeat by Arsenal.

However, full-back Alan Hutton will be suspended following his sending-off against the Gunners.