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Bolasie & Abraham can fire Villa back to the Premier League

Football
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Sheffield UnitedSheffield United
Aston VillaAston Villa
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 By PA Sport

Aston Villa's Stiliyan Petrov makes first appearance after beating leukaemia

Stiliyan Petrov returned to Aston Villa in his first game in four years.

Stiliyan Petrov made his first Aston Villa appearance in more than four years as Roberto Di Matteo's side hammered Austrians Gak 1902 8-0.

Petrov played the second half as Villa romped home over their Austrian sixth-tier opponents, the 37-year-old stepping up his comeback after beating leukaemia.

Bulgaria midfielder Petrov last turned out for Villa in March 2012, before retiring because of his illness.

The 105-cap international confirmed his comeback earlier this summer, and has now duly donned Villa's claret and blue on their preseason tour.

A Jordan Ayew double and goals from Micah Richards and Libor Kozak put Villa in total control, leading 4-0 at the break.

New boss Di Matteo changed the entire team at half-time, and braces from Joe Bennett and Rudy Gestede ensured Villa coasted home.

Middlesbrough started preparations for their Premier League return by thrashing York City 6-0 at Bootham Crescent.

Jordan Rhodes netted twice, with David Nugent, Albert Adomah and Adam Reach all on target, and luckless York goalkeeper Scott Flinders registering an own goal.

Celtic drew a frustrating blank in front of goal in the final match of their preseason tour and were held to a 0-0 stalemate at NK Maribor.

Brendan Rodgers' men failed to find their shooting boots in Slovenia and were unable to hand themselves a morale-boosting victory ahead of Tuesday's Champions League qualifier in Gibraltar.

The Hoops will face Lincoln Red Imps to kick-start their European campaign, but will need to sharpen their finishing on the evidence of Saturday's Stadion Ljudski Vrt clash.

For more scores from Saturday's club friendlies, click here.

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