Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert hopes to have Christian Benteke and Ron Vlaar available for their trip to Sunderland.

The Telegraph says Lambert's injury problems are piling up but Benteke is expected to return to training on Monday and should be fit for the crucial match.

The Belgium international's struggles this season have mirrored those of the Aston Villa team, Benteke having gone almost 12 hours without a goal before his injury, while Vlaar's absence with a calf problem has been damaging defensively.

But the Villa manager is prepared to bring them both back at the Stadium of Light as he attempts to ease growing pressure following another frustrating weekend.

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