Football: Prompt comeback for Daley

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(First Edition)

TONY DALEY, Aston Villa's England winger, may make an unexpected return in tonight's FA Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park.

Ron Atkinson, the Villa manager, hinted yesterday that he may be ready to gamble on Daley - even though he has not been in the first team for six months. Daley is included in Villa's squad after just 23 minutes in action, in a friendly in Ireland against Drogheda last Friday.

Atkinson, whose side face Manchester United in a key championship game at Old Trafford on Sunday, said: 'A week ago it looked like he might need another month before he was ready. But the best thing that happened to him was the game in Ireland. He did very well. He had to contend with three telling tackles, but came through with no problems, showed some of his pace and that has lifted him.'

Daley, who played two matches for England in last summer's European Championship finals, has been out with damaged knee ligaments. He is likely to be on the substitutes' bench, but Atkinson would not rule out the possibility of throwing him in from the start against the FA Cup semi-finalists.

Paul Allen is out of the Spurs team after hurting an ankle in the FA Cup quarter-final 4-2 victory at Maine Road. Sunday's substitute, Andy Turner, stands by, while Andy Gray and Sol Campbell are added to the squad.