FOOTBALL: MATCH OF THE WEEKEND (TOMORROW 11.30)

Aston Villa v Chelsea

Last season: 0-2

ADDING A Stone to his squad was one thing for John Gregory but seeing Aston Villa dropping like a stone down the Premiership table is quite another. The hope for the manager is that one, Steve Stone, the recent pounds 5.5m signing from Nottingham Forest, will help arrest the other, beginning with the visit of Chelsea tomorrow.

Stone should make his home debut at Villa Park safe in the knowledge that he will be able to revert to his preferred right midfield slot, after having to play wing-back - and second-fiddle to David Ginola - in the 1-0 defeat at White Hart Lane last week.

A fit-again Steve Watson will reclaim the wing-back role, while Dion Dublin (left) returns from suspension to lead an attack that has helped take just one point from the last 21. It could be that Dublin and Paul Merson will have a point to prove to England's caretaker manager Kevin Keegan after failing to gain a Pole position in the squad for next Saturday's Euro 2000 qualifier.

Dublin's return could see Stan Collymore lose his starting place, while Ian Taylor is struggling with an injury and Simon Grayson is definitely ruled out. Despite these doubts Gregory is his usual upbeat self: "There's no reason why our boys can't get their act together again for the final two months of this season, and the good thing is that a few bodies are coming back into the frame."

After securing a European Cup-Winners' Cup semi-final berth against the Spanish side Real Mallorca with a comfortable 6-2 aggregate win over Valerenga in midweek, Chelsea's player-manager Gianluca Vialli should have his French defensive pairing of Franck Leboeuf and Marcel Desailly, absent in Norway, back from injury.

Another defender, Albert Ferrer, has a back problem but is also hoping to be fit, although the midfielder Roberto di Matteo has to serve a one- match ban. With the Italian suspended, Desailly could be asked to move into the centre of the park - a role he often performed for Milan - with Michael Duberry keeping his place in central defence.

Vialli is almost certain to stand down from the attack and recall Gianfranco Zola (right). The little Italian maestro was spared the miserable conditions in Norway, a case of Vialli needing to keep some of his powder dry if Chelsea are to remain in the three-horse race for the Premiership title with Manchester United and Arsenal. Midfielder Bjarne Goldbaek, who has ably covered for long-term injury Gustavo Poyet, and striker Mikael Forssell are available after being cup-tied.

ASTON VILLA (from): Bosnich, Watson, Southgate, Scimeca, Barry, Wright, Stone, Taylor, Hendrie, Draper, Thompson, Merson, Dublin, Collymore, Joachim, Oakes, Delaney, Byfield, Samuel.

CHELSEA (from): De Goey, Ferrer, Duberry, Leboeuf, Le Saux, Goldbaek, Desailly, Wise, Babayaro, Zola, Flo, Forssell, Petrescu, Newton, Nicholls, Terry, Morris, Myers, Lambourde, Hitchcock.

Suspensions: Chelsea: Di Matteo.

Referee: G Barber.

Voices
Lucerne’s Hotel Château Gütsch, one of the lots in our Homeless Veterans appeal charity auction
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hughes (James Nesbitt) after his son Olly disappeared on a family holiday in France
tv
News
people

Jo from Northern Ireland was less than impressed by Russell Brand's attempt to stage a publicity stunt

Sport
Scunthorpe goalkeeper Sam Slocombe (left) is congratulated by winning penalty taker Miguel Llera (right)
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Apprentice candidates Roisin Hogan, Solomon Akhtar, Mark Wright, Bianca Miller, Daniel Lassman
tvReview: But which contestants got the boot?
Life and Style
A woman walks by a pandal art installation entitled 'Mars Mission' with the figure of an astronaut during the Durga Puja festival in Calcutta, India
techHow we’ll investigate the existence of, and maybe move in with, our alien neighbours
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels ride again in Dumb and Dumber To
filmReview: Dumb And Dumber To was a really stupid idea
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Ian McKellen tempts the Cookie Monster
tvSir Ian McKellen joins the Cookie Monster for a lesson on temptation
News
i100
Travel
Tourists bask in the sun beneath the skyscrapers of Dubai
travelBritish embassy uses social media campaign to issue travel advice for festive holiday-makers in UAE
Arts and Entertainment
Jennifer Saunders stars as Miss Windsor, Dennis's hysterical French teacher
filmJennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress
Life and Style
tech
Sport
Nabil Bentaleb (centre) celebrates putting Tottenham ahead
footballTottenham 4 Newcastle 0: Spurs fans dreaming of Wembley final after dominant win
Voices
Jimmy Mubenga died after being restrained on an aircraft by G4S escorts
voicesJonathan Cox: Tragedy of Jimmy Mubenga highlights lack of dignity shown to migrants
Life and Style
Sebastian Siemiatkowski is the 33-year-old co-founder and CEO of Klarna, which provides a simple way for people to buy things online
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established media firm based in Surrey is ...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer - Hertfordshire - £47,000 + bonus + benefits

£40000 - £470000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Devel...

Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Director - London - £70,000

£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive - Nationwide - OTE £65,000

£30000 - £65000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small technology business ...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum