Petrov sets sights on return

The Bulgarian international is hoping to be available for the Carling Cup semi-finals in January - if Villa can overcome Birmingham in Wednesday's tie at St. Andrew's.

Petrov has been sidelined with a knee problem since the Barclays Premier League clash at Sunderland in late October.

But the midfielder is hoping to step up his rehabilitation work this week.

Petrov said: "It's difficult to say exactly when I will be fit to play again but I'm making steady progress. With a bit of luck, I should be back early in the new year.

"I'm hoping to be able to do some running next week and then it will be a case of seeing how things progress. If all goes well, I should be in contention for a recall around the time of the Carling Cup semi-finals."

Source: PA

Source: PA