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Benteke to make fitness call

Paul Lambert will leave Christian Benteke to decide whether he is fit enough to turn out in World Cup qualifiers.

Last Updated: 07/10/13 at 11:19 Post Comment

Christian Benteke: Has been nursing a hip complaint

Christian Benteke: Has been nursing a hip complaint

The Aston Villa striker has been included in the Belgium squad as they chase one point from two fixtures against Croatia and Wales and a ticket to Brazil 2014.

Benteke has, however, sat out Villa's last two Premier League fixtures with a hip complaint.

Lambert is understandably reluctant to see his most potent attacking weapon risked on the international stage.

He trusts Benteke to make the right call for club and country and hopes to have the 22-year-old back at his disposal for a home date with Tottenham Hotspur on 20th October.

Lambert said: "I trust Christian to do the right thing. He is probably stuck in the middle right now.

"But I've had a good chat with him and he will know himself what is the right thing for him to do. I trust him. But I won't be happy if he plays for Belgium and comes back to me injured.

"I know he wants to play and get back into it as quickly as possible but he hasn't been back on the training ground yet since picking up the injury.

"It's only when he starts to kick a ball again that the test will come and he will know himself if it feels okay and whether he is ready to play.

"Christian had to go and join the Belgium squad, I understand that. He was obligated to go because of the five-day rule where countries can prevent players from playing for their clubs if they don't report for international duty.

"If we hadn't let him go, they could have prevented Christian from turning out for us against Spurs.

"I think the rule is a mockery but I totally understand where Belgium are coming from. They are a point away from playing in the World Cup finals."

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ood lord that's got me unnecessarily excited. Damn you Storey. Cut to Liverpool being crushed under the wheels of Sparky's Stoke Machine and Firmino brought off the bench to no effect. It's the hope that kills you.

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Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

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o Schweini? Have to admit that I did a little sex wee when we signed him and I can't wait to see him in action!!!

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F365's Top Ten Players We Can't Wait To Watch

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think he'll do quite well. My only reservation would be Kagawa, who had similar stats to Firmino in the bundesliga before he came, but time will tell.

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Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

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