By Amir Mir

Steve Bruce has revealed that Gabby Agbonlahor will travel with the Aston Villa squad that takes on rivals Birmingham City on Sunday afternoon.

Striker Agbonlahor has not featured for the Midlands giants this season, after former manager Roberto Di Matteo opted to leave him out of his first-team plans.

But, since the appointment of promotion expert Bruce, the club’s longest serving player has been offered a clean slate and ordered to undertake a six-week fitness programme.

Former Birmingham City and Hull City boss Bruce has explained why the 30-year-old is showing signs of improvements since his arrival and even hinted at a possible role for the player.

“We have put him on a programme of how he can be in better shape. I don’t think I will waver from that,” said Bruce, as quoted by the Mail.  “But he came yesterday and wanted to travel with us. That shows signs of improvement from him.

“Sunday might be a bit early for him but he will be with us.”

Boyhood Villa fan Agbonlahor has scored four goals in eight appearances against the Blues, including being on the winning side on six occasions.

Villa are unbeaten in their last three games under Bruce, with the Midlands club club registering back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

As a result they are 16th in the table with 17 points, six behind their bitter rivals, who are one place below a play-off spot.

In other Aston Villa team news, this Sky Sports pundit has predicted a hatful of goals for Villa’s clash against Birmingham.