Date: 18th January 2007 at 12:30pm
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Multi-million pound signing Stiliyan Petrov could return for Saturday’s must-win match with Watford at Villa Park on Saturday.

The 27-year-old will be given as long as possible to prove his fitness ahead of the match after struggling with a hamstring injury in recent weeks. However, other players on the sidelines are further away from a return to action.

Boss Martin O’Neill told the club’s official site: “He (Petrov) has not been training but he has been doing strengthening exercises. He has got a programme at this minute, and we will monitor that daily.

“I spoke to Chris Sutton on Monday and there is still no rapid improvement. Obviously, Craig Gardner will take a little bit of time. Luke Moore would have liked to have played on Tuesday night. We are monitoring him during training.

“I think the physios, having just come back and got the all-clear and going really well, would maybe just like him to do a wee bit more training for a while before he gets back into it.”

With or without Petrov, and given some of his performances since his £6.5million move from Celtic his inclusion may not make a difference, there is no doubt that Villa have to win the match against basement-side Watford to re-ignite their season.

After 21 games, Watford have only picked-up all three-points on one occasion and anything less than a win for Villa would surely be seen as disastrous.


13 Replies to “Petrov could return for Villa”

  • Well let’s hope that Stan is back and injury free and that his recent loss of form was down to that injury. We need a big game from everyone on Saturday and 3 points in the bag!

  • Hate to say it but a DRAW looks like the most likely result on Saturday. Watford won’t go for it. They’ll play “up and at em” and defend from the off hoping to nick one (like Bolton), great strategy against us as we couldn’t score in a brothel

  • I may well ring my boss and tell him I dont fancy working this weekend, see if he gives me a few days off………

  • Petrov has produced his best against the leagues poorer teams so far so having him back might well be a boost.

  • We need a good showing from Petrov to dispel the recent rumours as to whether his ambitions are still at VP. Watford will almost certainly play for the draw so expect “spoiling” tactics. My (4,4.2) team would be ? Sorenson. Bardesley, Mellberg, Cahill, Bouma, Petrov, Osbourne, McCann, Barry, Baros, Agbonlahor. Bench? Taylor, Ridgewell, Hendrie, Davis, Angel.

  • I wasn’t meaning to be negative. Just the table and peformances don’t lie. We’ve struggled to score goals and not had much luck lately. I’m looking beyond this game and a win against a top six team would give us far more confidence. I just wish Ridge’s header had gone in against Chelski

  • Will be good to see him back. Hope he’s refreshed, recharged, and ready to silence his growing number of critics. We need someone out there to take this game by the scruff of the neck, and inspire the lads to a much needed victory. Step forward Stan!

  • At the Chelsea game two weeks ago i met and spoke to Aidy Boothroyd who was doing his own bit of checking. Asked him what he had thought of the Villa after holding Chelsea and he was of the opinion of surprise that we were going through a bad slump. He also gave me the impression that he has everything to play for and will do so when he brings his team to Villa

  • Most clubs have lost more games this season than us. We’re not playing badly, we’re not scoring enough goals and therefore finishing with too many draws. So the sooner MON is able to return to a 4:3:3 formation, the better. Playing 5 across the back as he did in the first half against Man.U was the same bad mistake that DOL made at home, twice last season. Attack, attack, attack, that’s the only way to get the points we need. Until we get extra strikers, everyone has just got to work their balls off for 90mins.

  • Petrov’s not scored any goals and wasn’t doing too great just before his injury, but I still rate him. If he’s back and buzzing he’ll be worth his weight in gold. “Hurry up and get back” Luke and Tommy too !

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