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Friday, 21 April, 2000, 11:14 GMT 12:14 UK
Villa aim to halt Foxes' run

Villa were beaten by the Foxes at Filbert Street
Aston Villa manager John Gregory has hailed 'keeper David James as the best in the country as his side aim to bury their Leicester City hoodoo.

Villa will be looking for their first win over the Foxes in 14 years as they strive to maintain their challenge for a European spot via the Premiership instead of relying on winning the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Gregory said: "I can honestly say at present that if there is better 'keeper in the country than David James, then I have yet to see him.

"For me the man has got absolutely everything. That's not just me talking because the proof has been there in his performances week in and week out."



Steve Watson will replace the injured Mark Delaney

James has been a key figure in Villa's splendid run of only two defeats in the last 26 matches which has turned around a season threatening to go off the rails.

Aston Villa are without Welsh international full-back Mark Delaney for Saturday's Villa Park clash.

Delaney is serving a one-match ban after being sent off in Villa's FA Cup semi-final victory over Bolton.

Steve Watson will take over from him at right-back, while Villa will check on the fitness of skipper Gareth Southgate.

Southgate has missed Villa's last five Premiership games with an Achilles problem and his only action during that spell was in the FA Cup semi-final.

He was given a break from training last month before rejoining the squad earlier this week.

Leicester's recent form has been very much up and down, one week registering victories over Leeds and Newcastle - the next being beaten by a struggling Spurs.

But Martin O'Neill's men already have their European place in the bag thanks to victory in the Worthington Cup.

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See also:

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Foxes make fools of Magpies
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Leeds fall to sucker punch
02 Apr 00 | FA Cup
Villa book Cup final place
27 Feb 00 | Football
Leicester triumph at Wembley
05 Apr 00 | FA Carling Premiership
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25 Mar 00 | FA Carling Premiership
Carbone reminds Villa of value
Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.