Striker Dalian Atkinson was set to return after a seven-week lay off in what was a huge boost for title-chasing Aston Villa. Atkinson had scored 13 goals in the first half of the campaign but had not completed full 90 minutes since December due to a hernia complaint which eventually had to be operated upon.
The former Real Sociedad player was back for the crucial last seven matches of the season and one man who would have been very happy with this news would have been fellow Villa striker Dean Saunders. Saunders was the leading goal scorer for Villa that season with 16 goals to his name and had established an impressive partnership with Atkinson. But he had only scored once in the 11 matches that Atkinson had missed.