Villa boss hopeful over key duo

Last Updated: Tue, 31 Dec 2013 12:55

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert hopes to have Christian Benteke and Ron Vlaar available for the New Year's Day trip to Sunderland.

Lambert will monitor the fitness of Benteke, who has missed the last three games with a knee problem, after his return from Belgium.

Vlaar is on his way back from a calf injury and could be in line for a welcome comeback, particularly as Ciaran Clark is suspended.

However, the game at the Stadium of Light is likely to come too soon for Joe Bennett as he recovers from his back injury.

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