Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov is winning his battle to be fit for Sunday's Carling Cup final against Manchester United at Wembley.

The Bulgaria international has been laid low with a virus and missed last night's FA Cup fifth-round replay success over Crystal Palace at Villa Park.

But Petrov was given the all-clear today to resume training and is set to lead Villa's attempt to lift their first major trophy for 14 years.

The 30-year-old midfielder has been an inspirational figure in Villa's push for a domestic cup double and a Champions League spot via a top-four Barclays Premier League placing this season.

Petrov, who played for Celtic in the 2003 UEFA Cup final against Porto in Seville, said: "The virus is okay. It is better.

"I've been on antibiotics for the last three or four days and we are eexpecting every day for it to get better and better.

"I've done a bit of training this morning, I am going to train with the team this afternoon as well to try to catch up. I think it should be okay for Sunday."

Petrov admitted: "In my last game against Burnley at the weekend, I played with a little fever and then I felt really bad after the game.

"I had a lot of pain in my body and my chest was really tight and on Monday I was really bad so I started the antibiotics straight away.

"I've had my chest checked today and it was clear so I can go to train. But, even if there had been a doubt, I was going to push right to the end because we have worked so hard as a team to get to that final and nobody would want to miss it.

"If I wasn't fit, the manager could have got someone else to play and I would just have accepted it but I am getting better."

Petrov has also been defying an Achilles problem in recent weeks and needed an injection at half-time in the Carling Cup semi-final second-leg win over Blackburn to continue playing for the second 45 minutes.

He said: "The Achilles is okay. I've been having treatment on that and it has been responding very well."