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Christian Benteke could return to Aston Villa’s starting line-up against Everton on Saturday following his recent hip injury.

The Belgian striker returned to action as a substitute in last week’s 2-0 Barclays Premier League defeat by Tottenham and is likely to start against the Toffees at Villa Park.

Defender Ciaran Clark is available after missing the Spurs match due to illness, leaving long-term absentees Jores Okore (knee), Charles N’Zogbia (Achilles) and Gary Gardner (back) as Paul Lambert’s only casualties.

Defender Johnny Heitinga is a doubt for Everton’s Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa on Saturday.

Toffees boss Roberto Martinez revealed the Holland international suffered tissue damage in training and has rated his chances of being involved at Villa Park at 50/50.

Steven Pienaar will be pushing for a start after recovering from a hamstring problem to score from the bench against Hull, but Antolin Alcaraz (hernia) and Darron Gibson (knee) remain sidelined.

There will be an intriguing subplot at Villa Park this weekend in a battle of the Belgians, as Christian Benteke and Romelu Lukaku attempt to further enhance their World Cup ambitions.

Both strikers have six goals for the season so far and will represent their respective teams’ best hopes of victory here.

Benteke is expected to start his first game in over a month after a hip injury and is on a mission to make up for lost time while Lukaku continues to flourish away from his parent club.

Stat of the game: 12 Everton have won just one of their last 12 Premier League away matches.

Aston Villa (Possible, 4-3-3): Guzan; Bacuna, Clark, Vlaar, Luna; Westwood, El Ahmadi, Delph; Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor.
Out: Okore (knee), N’Zogbia (Achilles), Gardner (back), Albrighton (throat).

Everton (Possible, 4-3-3): Howard; Coleman, Jagielka, Distin, Baines; Barkley, McCarthy, Barry; Mirallas, Lukaku, Pienaar.
Out: Alcaraz (hernia), Gibson (knee), Vellios (knock).
Test: Heitinga (groin/pelvis)

Referee: Anthony Taylor (Matches 5 R2 Y21)

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