Villa pin survival hopes on forgotten striker Heskey
Under-pressure McLeish has little option but to turn to the former England forward as Gabby Agbonlahor is likely to be ruled out with a sore shoulder.
McLeish said: "Emile has come right into the thinking. He's admired by all his team-mates. They love him and love it when he plays.
"They know he works his socks off for the cause. He can definitely do a bit of damage."