Writer: Mike Field
Date:Wednesday September 3 2008
Carlos Cuellar made his first outing as a Villa player tonight for the reserves, and Steve Sidwell also made a return to the pitch.
Cuellar has been out with a claf strain since signing from Rangers for £7.8 million earlier this month but all in all, he has made a reasonably impressive performance tonight.
It's unsure if he will have the fitness to challenge for the upcoming spurs clash but he'll certainly be hoping he can take a place on the bench.
Speaking to the press before the match, Martin O'Neill said:
'Carlos joined in with training from last week and he is keen to make an impression in the Premier League.'
Sidwell looks to have completed a full 90 minutes himself alongside other first teamers Zat Knight and Wayne Routledge.
Speaking himself he said:
'Obviously it's not been the best of starts for me, tearing the calf. It's been a frustrating time.
'I can understand why we're being cautious about the injury.
'There's a long season ahead of us and we have had to make sure I was right before returning to action.
'Touch-wood, I've never been one for being injured. Throughout my career I've been very lucky.
'The timing of the injury has been poor for me. It's a new club and I've wanted to impress and show everyone what I can do.'
Stoke: Simonsen, Wilkinson, Pugh, Wedderburn, Buxton, Higginbotham, Phillips, Grocott (BOOKED), Pericard, Cresswell, De Laet. Subs: Moult, Harrison, McDonald, Vauls, Alexander.
VILLA: Parish; Herd, Baker, Cuellar, Knight; Sidwell, Routledge, Osbourne, Bannan; Delfouneso, Harewood. Subs: Albrighton, Stieber, Lichaj, Clark, Dau.
Will be updated on 90 minutes, current score is 1-1.
Full time score, 1-2 to the Claret and Blue.
Scorers for Villa, Delfouneso and Osbourne. Stokie idiot Pugh was sent off seconds before the final whistle after mistaking Marc Albrighton for the football.
Date:Wednesday September 3 2008
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