Carew set for Villa return

The Norway international has missed Villa's last four games with a calf injury but played an hour for the reserves against West Brom earlier in the week.

Asked whether Carew was likely to play some part against the Gunners, boss Gerard Houllier said: "Yes. He felt a bit stiff and sore at the end of the reserve game but he should be okay."

Houllier also confirmed that his first signing, Robert Pires, will play some part against his former club after appearing as a substitute in Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Blackburn.

Houllier said: "Robert was supposed to play one half for the reserves but he did an hour so he will be in the 18 on Saturday, definitely. It doesn't matter whether it's Arsenal or any other team."

Young midfielder Jonathan Hogg is Villa's only new doubt after suffering an ankle injury at Ewood Park. Houllier said: "He actually twisted his ankle so we'll see how he is."

Source: PA

Source: PA