Alex McLeish: 'Let's do it for Stiliyan Petrov'

Stiliyan Petrov
© PA Photos
Alex McLeish wants his Aston Villa side to beat Chelsea on Saturday for captain Stiliyan Petrov, who was diagnosed with acute leukaemia yesterday.

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish has called on his players to beat Chelsea this afternoon for ill captain Stiliyan Petrov.

The Bulgarian midfielder was diagnosed with acute leukaemia on Friday and will begin to undergo treatment on the illness immediately.

Since the news broke, Petrov has been inundated with messages of support from fellow players and McLeish now wants the 32-year-old's teammates to give their skipper a tribute on the pitch.

"The players will be gutted but hopefully galvanised to win this game for their captain tomorrow," McLeish said.

"Stiliyan, I'm sure he will be rooting for the lads tomorrow and sending some of the vibes for these boys to be inspirational for this game against Chelsea."

"I know that some of the players are already texting each other and saying that kind of thing (this will be for Stan) to each other and I'm sure they'll be no doubt about that at all."

There were doubts about whether today's fixture would be taking place, but Petrov was insistent that the game should go ahead.

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1Chelsea25193352183460
2Manchester CityMan City25164551292252
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs25148346182850
4Arsenal25155554282650
5Liverpool25147454302449
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd25139338211748
7Everton25118640271341
8West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2510783431337
9Stoke CityStoke258893036-632
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2595113443-932
11Southampton2586112831-330
12Burnley2593132736-930
13Watford2586112942-1330
14Bournemouth2575133549-1426
15Swansea CitySwansea2573153154-2324
16Middlesbrough25410111927-822
17Leicester CityLeicester2556142443-1921
18Hull City2555152249-2720
19Crystal Palace2554163246-1419
20Sunderland2554162446-2219