Aston Villa prepare to welcome back defender Richard Dunne after the Republic of Ireland international has undergone three operations this season. It has been a nightmare 12 months for the 33-year-old, who was also out injured for nearly three months with a shoulder problem before returning at the very end of last season.

Villa boss Paul Lambert said: "If you look when Richard did his shoulder, he only came back for a couple of games and then had the groin problem at the Euros.

"He's not played much football for a year really. But the (latest) operation in America was successful and the main thing for everyone is to get him back fit."

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