Aston Villa V Ipswich at Villa Park - Match Preview

I don't need to make January sales - Lambert

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert insists he is under no pressure to sell any players during the January transfer window, including record signing Darren Bent.

Bent could make his comeback from a hamstring injury in the FA Cup third-round tie with his former club Ipswich at Villa Park after returning to training on Friday.

The England international had lost his role as senior striker to Christian Benteke before suffering the injury setback in the Capital One Cup clash with Norwich three weeks ago.

But Lambert is adamant he does not need to let anyone go this month, while he also refused to dismiss a possible move for Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott.

"I don't need to get rid of anybody at the club at all," Lambert said. "I don't need to do it. It's not something I've thought about.

"If a player hasn't played a few games, people automatically think that is what is going to happen.

"But I've never come out and said anything. I thought Darren looked okay at Norwich before his hamstring went."

Bent has been linked with fellow strugglers QPR and Fulham plus mid-table West Ham.

But when suggested to Lambert that it would be daft to offload Bent to a relegation rival, he said: "Of course it would."

Lambert admits Lescott is "a top player" and refused to dismiss a possible move for the 30-year-old, who is out of favour at the Etihad Stadium and a lifelong Villa supporter.

The Scot said: "I've just heard that this morning (the link with Lescott) and there will be loads of players linked.

"He (Lescott) has been a top player and still is. He's a top top player. He's not getting a game at Manchester City at the minute.

"As I've said before, I will sit with the rest of the staff and see what I can do.

"But I don't think you can ever dismiss it whenever you are talking about a top player."

Lambert has to decide whether to give another cup outing to goalkeeper Shay Given, who has helped Villa to the Capital One Cup semi-finals, or stick with Brad Guzan, who has been his first choice in the Barclays Premier League.

Striker Gabriel Agbonlahor (thigh) and winger Charles N'Zogbia (knee) are poised to return to training, but midfielder Ashley Westwood has been ruled out after suffering an ankle injury during the 2-2 draw at Swansea.

Ipswich have made a trio of signings ahead of the clash, with strike duo David McGoldrick and Aaron Mclean joining defender Patrick Kisnorbo.

McGoldrick, 25, has joined on loan from Nottingham Forest with a view to a permanent deal at the end of the season while Mclean, 29, has also joined on loan from Hull until the end of the season.

Leading scorer DJ Campbell, who bagged 10 goals in 17 games on loan with Town, has returned to QPR for the time being at least and so Michael Chopra is set to come in.

Goalkeeper Stephen Henderson and defender Bradley Orr have also been denied permission to feature by their parent clubs, West Ham and Blackburn respectively.

That means Scott Loach is likely to get the nod between the sticks while manager Mick McCarthy is poised to bring in Elliott Hewitt at right-back.

Midfielder Andy Drury remains missing due to the illness which forced him to miss the 3-0 New Year's Day defeat at home to Brighton, with defender Luke Chambers also a doubt having broken his nose in training.

Kisnorbo has been cleared to play having arrived on a month-long deal from Leeds on Thursday and Town are waiting to hear if McGoldrick and Mclean are free to feature.

Source: PA

Source: PA