Villa face anxious wait over Dunne's Achilles

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Aston Villa lost 7-1 in the Premier League last month to Chelsea with their first-choice defence so they will not be pleased at the thought of calling for back-up for tomorrow's FA Cup semi-final against the same side. Richard Dunne has picked up an injury but the Villa manager, Martin O'Neill, is optimistic the centre-back will be fit to play at Wembley.

Dunne was forced to withdraw from training yesterday with a sore Achilles. The former Manchester City player has been troubled by the problem in recent weeks and Villa could ill afford to be without his experience tomorrow.

"Dunne has had a bit of a setback and he came out of training," O'Neill said. "Richard was a bit sore. It is an injury we have to be nursing through. It has been troublesome for a while but he definitely will want to play." Dunne has formed an effective partnership with James Collins since his £6m move from Manchester City last summer.

The midfielder James Milner has resumed training after being rested for the game at Bolton last week, also with an Achilles problem, and is expected to be fit. The club's joint £12m record signing was rested for last Saturday's 1-0 win. Milner, like Dunne, has been an influential figure for Villa during the current campaign and is a strong contender to be in the England squad for the World Cup.