Villa set to fly in Delfouneso

Nathan Delfouneso is to link up with Aston Villa for the Guadiana Cup in Portugal just days after playing for England Under-19s in the European Championships.

Villa boss Martin O’Neill is predicting Delfouneso will play in Sunday’s clash with Benfica.

Delfouneso was part of the England side beaten 3-1 by Spain in Tuesday’s semi-final in Spain and also featured in the three group games.

O’Neill confirmed: “Nathan is going to come out. He will arrive in Portugal sometime on Friday and, with a bit of luck, he will be involved in Sunday’s game at least.”

It is an indication that O’Neill feels 19-year-old Delfouneso could have a bigger role to play this season by involving him in the tournament rather than giving him time to rest up.

Central defender James Collins took no part in Villa’s first training session in Portugal after suffering a calf injury in Tuesday’s friendly at Walsall.

O’Neill said: “James is very keen to get back playing as quickly as possible but his pre-season has been a bit stop-start.

“Maybe it is time for James to go steady because it’s a long season. Instead of five days to get over something, maybe double the time (to recuperate).”

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