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Captain Stiliyan Petrov will miss Villa’s home game with Chelsea after the shock news that he has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia.

The condition was diagnosed following tests after the Bulgaria international, 32, developed a fever following last Saturday’s defeat to Arsenal.

Alan Hutton (calf) is also out, with Eric Lichaj and Chris Herd in contention to replace the Scotland international, while Charles N’Zogbia (knee) will be out for a further month.

Striker Darren Bent (ankle), defender Richard Dunne (shoulder) and midfielder Fabian Delph (ankle) remain long-term absentees, while utility player Ciaran Clark is still recovering from a knee problem.

Midfielder Raul Meireles is Chelsea’s only doubt.

Meireles sustained a knee injury in Tuesday night’s 1-0 victory over Benfica and could miss the trip to Villa Park.

Branislav Ivanovic and Ramires have been passed fit after overcoming minor knocks.

Aston Villa (from): Given, Guzan, Lichaj, Herd, Collins, Cuellar, Warnock, Baker, Bannan, Gardner, Ireland, Albrighton, Agbonlahor, Heskey, Weimann, Marshall, Johnson, Stevens, Delfouneso.

Chelsea (from): Cech, Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Terry, Luiz, Cahill, Cole, Bertrand, Mikel, Romeu, Essien, Meireles, Ramires, Lampard, Mata, Malouda, Drogba, Torres, Sturridge, Kalou, Turnbull.

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