Milner set to start semi
James Milner is poised to return to Aston Villa's starting line-up for Saturday's FA Cup semi-final.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 06/04/10 5:31pm
James Milner is poised to return to Aston Villa's starting line-up for Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.
The England midfielder was left on the bench for Villa's 1-0 win at Bolton last Saturday having been doubtful with an Achilles injury.
And manager Martin O'Neill believes the 24-year-old will be raring to go at Wembley after being given a welcome breather.
"I'm pleased we could rest him," said O'Neill.
"It was pleasing to have won the game without him and I'm hoping he will recover in time for next Saturday and the rest will do him good."
Milner played in the 7-1 defeat at Chelsea the previous week and sitting out the Bolton game meant the World Cup hopeful missed his first game since being ruled out of November's defeat at West Ham with a calf injury.
In the week between, O'Neill rubbished speculation he would be leaving the club after reportedly falling out with owner Randy Lerner over suggestions Milner would be sold to Manchester United.
But the former Celtic boss insists the team's victorious performance at Bolton was not inspired by the pre-match talk about his future.
"The motivation is to win and to do very well," O'Neill added. "I think if you become affiliated to a football club you want to win for the football club.
"I think obviously you want to win for yourself and I think in the process of it, you don't want to be maligned with a performance like the one against Chelsea. Naturally, I'm delighted with the team."