Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas expects Christian Benteke to be in Aston Villa’s line-up for Sunday’s Premier League game at Villa Park, after the Belgian players in the Spurs ranks gave their boss the inside track on his recovery from a knee injury.
• Fitch: AVB deserves patience
Spurs duo Mousa Dembele and Jan Vertonghen trained alongside a recovering Benteke during the recent international break and have tipped their boss off that their international teammate is fit enough to be involved.
"The information I’ve been given from them is that [Benteke] was involved, he is in contention to play [on Sunday], so I would expect him to play," Villas-Boas said.
"He is a player who is showing all his potential at the moment. We have seen him scoring goals, seen how he acts as a direct striker for Villa and I think we all agree Villa, with him, are a different proposition. He has a great career ahead. The goals he’s scored have shown that, credit to him.
"We also appreciate the quality of the Villa team we will face. Their manager Paul Lambert deserves credit for the amount of youngsters bringing though. I see them stepping up and charging for European places in the end."
Villas-Boas admitted the two weeks since his side’s last Premier League game have been a little longer than he would have wished for and now he is eager to bounce back from the unexpected 3-0 home defeat against West Ham.
"It was difficult because we had the chance to be first [in the table] on that weekend, but the West Ham game was definitely a call to attention for us,” he said. “We had the chance to go first and end up sixth. It shows how unpredictable this league is.
"The distance to first is three points, everything is open this season and surprise results can happen. It happened to us and other teams -- what we did was analyse that game with the squad yesterday when everyone got back and made sure we’re able to give a response against Villa and going forward."
Tottenham winger Aaron Lennon is in contention to play his first game since the opening day of the season this weekend, after using the international break to hone his fitness as he recovers from a foot injury.
Younes Kaboul, Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose are all still unavailable as they recover from injury.