Paul Lambert reveals Christian Benteke concerns

Lambert reveals Benteke concerns
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Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert asks Belgium coach Marc Wilmots not to risk Christian Benteke's long-term fitness in upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has revealed that he has serious reservations about Christian Benteke reporting for international duty this week.

Benteke has missed Villa's last two Premier League games with a hip problem, but has still been called up by Belgium for crucial World Cup qualifiers against Croatia and Wales.

Lambert believes that rushing Benteke back for either match could have effects on his long-term fitness, but admits that he understands Belgium's stance as they close in on a trip to Brazil next summer.

He told The Mirror: "I totally understand Belgium's point of view. They're a point away from the biggest tournament at national team level. But you're hoping they understand our point of view.

"The guy's got injured for us and might play for us. Christian will know himself how he's feeling, but at this moment in time, I would say he's not fit.

"But in seven to 10 days' time, it's hard for me to say whether he will be or not. I won't be happy if he plays and comes back to me injured after doing ever so well."

Belgium will qualify for their first World Cup since 2002 with a positive result against either Croatia or Wales after finding form under coach Marc Wilmots.

Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa is pursued by Curtis Davies of Hull during the Barclays Premier League match between Hull City and Aston Villa at KC Stadium on October 5, 2013
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