PHIL Bardsley and Craig Gardner return to Sunderland's starting line-up for this evening's Premier League game at Aston Villa.

Bardsley has recovered from a muscular injury to replace Jack Colback at right-back as the Black Cats look for the win that would go a long way towards securing them Premier League safety.

Gardner replaces James McClean in midfield after missing the last two matches through suspension.

Adam Johnson will switch to the left flank, with either Gardner or Seb Larsson lining up on the right-hand side.

Former Middlesbrough full-back Joe Bennett has overcome an ankle injury to line up at left-back in the Aston Villa side.

ASTON VILLA (4-4-2): Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Bennett; Weimann, Delph, Westwood, Sylla; Agbonlahor, Benteke.

Subs: Given (gk), Holman, Bowery, Bannan, Lichaj, N'Zogbia, Bent.

SUNDERLAND (4-4-1-1): Mignolet; Bardsley, O'Shea, Cuellar, Rose; Larsson, N'Diaye, Gardner, Johnson; Sessegnon; Graham.

Subs: Westwood (gk), Kilgallon, Mangane, Colback, Vaughan, McClean, Mandron.