The pair have crossed swords since youth team days when Anthony was at Port Vale and striker Darius climbing through the ranks at Villa.
Both are now established Premiership stars as they prepare for the televised clash at the Lane and Vassell firmly part of Sven Goran Eriksson's England plans - he was a World Cup squad member last year.
Indeed, both might have played for England against Denmark last Sunday - Anthony was called up late last week - but both were eventually ruled out by injury.
"I know Darius well and we've had a few battles over the years," smiled Anthony. "That's going back to when we were young and I played against him when I was at Port Vale.
"It's funny how we're now up against each other in the Premiership. He's a threat, he's quick and I'm looking forward to facing him again."
Villa are just outside the bottom three of the Premiership and on a run of six league games without a win.
But we were beaten last time out at the Lane by Bolton and after the fine display in defeat at Arsenal, Anthony has warned against complacency.
He added: "They have some quality players. Although they are not doing as well at the moment they are a big club and they can get results. We can't under-estimate them."
Anthony Gardner is looking forward to another battle with his old foe Darius Vassell on Sunday.