Welcome boost for O'Neill
Martin O'Neill is hoping to have Stiliyan Petrov, Luke Young and Fabian Delph available this weekend.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 12/08/09 12:06pm
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill is hoping to have Stiliyan Petrov, Luke Young and Fabian Delph available this weekend.
The trio have all been carrying knocks of late, but are now on course to be involved in Saturday's season opener against Wigan.
Delph played almost an hour for the England U21s in their friendly against Holland on Tuesday, while Young and Petrov are training hard ahead of the new campaign.
The outlook does not look as bright for Moustapha Salifou, who has been laid low with a virus, but O'Neill's squad does appear to be coming together at just the right time.
"Luke trained on Tuesday. That is pleasing," the Villa boss told the club's official website.
"It has been a very frustrating pre-season for him. He came back with plenty of determination after recovering from his previous injury. Yet he's been unable to play a single game.
"Moustapha has had problems too. He picked up an illness and he's only just recovering from that.
"It's been a wee bit like that for a few of the players - stop-start. But it's a long season ahead.
"We might not have everyone available this weekend but we have Wigan, Rapid Vienna (in the Europa League), Liverpool, Rapid Vienna and Fulham before there's another international break. We have plenty of games.
"Fabian had a sore foot after the Fiorentina game. I would have been expecting a call from the England U21 physio if there was a further problem.
"In terms of Stiliyan, I would like him to be fit for Saturday if at all possible."