Benteke hands Villa a boost

The striker missed the weekend’s 2-0 FA Cup quarter final win over West Brom with a hip injury but will be in the Villa squad for the trip to the Stadium of Light.

Villa boss Tim Sherwood hinted Benteke is unlikely to play the whole match, but will be included in the traveling party.

Sherwood said: “He’s still feeling it. He’ll be in the squad, we’ll give him as much time as we can to get him fit, but we changed it around and the boys who came in did well.

“We’re not always looking for one guy. It’s a team effort, we have to attack together and defend together. There is no onus on one person to score the goals.

“I don’t think Christian feels the pressure, it doesn’t look like it. All I need to know is when he’ll be back fit and he’s got an opportunity to be fit for this weekend.”

Villa are a place above the Premier League relegation zone and a point behind their hosts going into Saturday???s match.