CHRISTIAN Benteke is set to return for Aston Villa’s crunch relegation clash with Sunderland.
The striker missed last weekend’s FA Cup quarter final win over West Brom with a hip injury, but will be in the squad for the trip to the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
Villa are a place above the Premier League relegation zone and a point behind the Black Cats ahead of the game, with Benteke looking to return.
Boss Tim 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.”
Libor Kozak has returned to first-team training after being out for over a year with a broken leg but Kieran Richardson (calf) is a doubt while Philippe Senderos (calf) is out and Jack Grealish and Alan Hutton are banned.