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Villa U21 v Everton U21: Listen live on AVTV from 1pm

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Villa U21 v Everton U21: Listen live on AVTV from 1pm

Listen to our live audio commentary on AVTV.

Gary Gardner is set to step up his comeback when Villa U21s face Everton at Bodymoor Heath this afternoon.

Gardner made his long-awaited return from an anterior cruciate ligament injury in last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Fulham.

Having got 45 minutes under his belt at Motspur Park, the 20-year-old midfielder is expected to feature again in today's game at Bodymoor Heath.

The clash against the group leaders will round off Villa's Barclays U21 Premier League campaign.

"It was great to see Gary back," said coach Gordon Cowans.

"He is a great lad, he works hard in everything he does and he also encourages the rest of the lads. If necessary he gets on to them as well.

"He needs another few games and he will be fine.

"He didn't expect to kick a ball again this season and for him to come back as quick as he has done, he looks in great shape. It shows how strong he is mentally to come through it as well.

"The more games he can get under his belt now the better for him. He will probably get 60 to 70 minutes against Everton."

Everton have already sealed top spot in qualification tier one and will advance to the competition's knockout phase.

But Villa are still determined to finish with a flourish and grab second spot ahead of Fulham.

Cowans felt his side performed well against the Cottagers last weekend, considering they were forced to operate without a recognised striker.

"It was tough as obviously we had no striker with Callum Robinson being ill and Mikey Drennan injured," Cowans added.

"But I thought Samir Caruthers did well up there. We stuck him up there and thought we could get the ball up and get it sticking and get runners going off him.

"In the first half I thought we were the better side. They had two chances and scored from two set plays but we also had three good chances.

"It would be nice to finish with a win against the team who are top of the table.

"We'll have to give it everything we've got and see what we can get."

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By @AVFCOfficial 29th April 2013
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