Villa face a huge six-pointer against Sunderland tonight.
Clarke said: "I would like to see the Midlands stronger. It's important that you have good competition from the clubs around you.
"If you have that competition and it's healthy around the area, it's better for the Midlands that they have more successful teams.
"I would miss Villa. It's important that they finish the season strongly. It's important to have your rivals breathing down your neck.
"You see how much it means to the supporters - they want to be the top dogs.
"You want to be the top dogs because you've beaten your nearest rivals or you've finished higher than them in the same league. That's important."