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A Villa 15:00 Preston

Agbonlahor on course for return

In-form forward winning fitness battle ahead of City clash

Last Updated: 13/10/11 3:21pm

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Gabriel Agbonlahor: Winning fitness race ahead of City showdown on Saturday

Gabriel Agbonlahor: Winning fitness race ahead of City showdown on Saturday

Sky Bet

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Aston Villa's leading scorer Gabriel Agbonlahor is winning his race to be fit for Saturday's Premier League trip to Manchester City, says manager Alex McLeish.

Agbonlahor has been suffering with a back problem in the early weeks of the season and was substituted after a stellar performance in the 2-0 win over Wigan a fortnight ago.

But the 25-year-old came through training this week with no problems to report and is set to face Roberto Mancini's side as he looks to add to his four goals in seven league games.

Pleased

Villa boss McLeish said: "Gabby has trained. We are very pleased with the way he has trained. Today was the most intense session for him.

"We put him through it a wee bit and he came through with flying colours.

"We expect him, barring a nightmare in training tomorrow, to be okay for the game at City.

"He has done really well for us this season and I believe he can get even better."

Midfielders Stephen Ireland (foot) and Barry Bannan (Achilles) and defender James Collins (foot) are also expected to be available, although striker Nathan Delfouneso (hamstring) and on-loan Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas (Achilles) are out.

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