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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1Chelsea14111232112134
2Arsenal1494133141931
3Liverpool1493235181730
4Manchester CityMan City1493230151530
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs1476124101427
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7West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom145542017320
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13Middlesbrough143651315-215
14Crystal Palace144282426-214
15Burnley144281223-1114
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17West Ham UnitedWest Ham143381529-1412
18Sunderland143291424-1011
19Hull City143291129-1811
20Swansea CitySwansea142391631-159