Aston Villa may be able to call upon centre-back James Chester once again as they prepare to take on fellow promotion chasers Sheffield United at Villa Park on Friday evening.

Villa are unbeaten in their last three matches in the Sky Bet Championship after collecting five points from an available nine but they are still four points shy of the play-off places.

Third placed Sheffield United are Villa’s latest opponents and manager Dean Smith could have defender James Chester available for selection once again after the player missed the goalless draw at Reading last time out with a knee injury. Villa’s official website have reported that the defender could return on Friday evening, although Chester will face a fitness test just a few hours before kick-off to determine whether he can be risked against The Blades.

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Chester has been an important player for Villa so far this season. The defender has made 28 appearances for the club in all competitions while he has contributed five goals to the cause. The player made 50 appearances for Villa last term as the club reached the Sky Bet Championship play-off final and he is contracted to The Claret and Blues until summer 2020.

Sheffield United won the reverse fixture 4-1 back in early September. Jack O’Connell, Mark Duffy, Oliver Norwood and Billy Sharp were all on the scoresheet for the South Yorkshire outfit that day.