skip to content
Bradley Guzan takes the free kick.
Foul by Phil Bardsley on Ciaran Clark, free kick awarded.
The match has reached full-time.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Phil Bardsley by Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Gabriel Agbonlahor is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
Leandro Bacuna restarts play with the free kick.
The official flags Steven Fletcher offside.
Sebastian Larsson concedes a free kick for a foul on Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Ondrej Celustka crosses the ball.
Libor Kozak replaces Christian Benteke.
Fabian Delph takes a shot and went wide left of the target.
Ondrej Celustka joins the action as a substitute, replacing Andrea Dossena.
Aleksandar Tonev takes a shot. Vito Mannone blocks the ball.
A cross is delivered by Marc Albrighton.
Centre by Marc Albrighton.
Unfair challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor by Sung-Yeung Ki results in a free kick.
Adam Johnson is brought on as a substitute for Fabio Borini.
Vito Mannone restarts play with the free kick.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Sung-Yeung Ki by Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Corner taken by Ashley Westwood.
Phil Bardsley manages to make a clearance.
Sebastian Larsson takes the free kick.
Aleksandar Tonev challenges Sung-Yeung Ki unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Karim El Ahmadi goes off and Aleksandar Tonev comes on.
Marc Albrighton comes on in place of Andreas Weimann.
The ball is delivered by Leandro Bacuna.
The ball is crossed by Fabian Delph.
The ball is delivered by Fabio Borini.
Headed chance falls to Fabio Borini.
The ball is swung over by Emanuele Giaccherini.
John O'Shea fouled by Christian Benteke, the ref awards a free kick.
Fabio Borini gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Antonio Luna.
Unfair challenge on Andrea Dossena by Leandro Bacuna results in a free kick.
Andrea Dossena makes a clearance.
Fabio Borini challenges Fabian Delph unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Sebastian Larsson concedes a free kick for a foul on Fabian Delph.
Craig Gardner has an effort direct from the free kick that flies over the crossbar.
Unfair challenge on Craig Gardner by Ciaran Clark results in a free kick.
Shot by Karim El Ahmadi went wide left of the goal.
Gabriel Agbonlahor sends in a cross.
Wes Brown manages to make a clearance.
Clearance by Fabio Borini.
Ashley Westwood takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Vito Mannone makes a block.
Sebastian Larsson crosses the ball in from the free kick.
Gabriel Agbonlahor concedes a free kick for a foul on Emanuele Giaccherini.
Foul by Steven Fletcher on Ciaran Clark, free kick awarded.
Corner taken by Ashley Westwood from the right by-line.
Shot by Gabriel Agbonlahor. Vito Mannone parries the ball away.
John O'Shea restarts play with the free kick.
Unfair challenge on John O'Shea by Christian Benteke results in a free kick.
Unfair challenge on Andreas Weimann by Fabio Borini results in a free kick.
The game restarts for the second half.
The ball is crossed by Andrea Dossena.
The half-time whistle blows.
The ball is delivered by Phil Bardsley.
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Leandro Bacuna by Craig Gardner.
Craig Gardner takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Fabian Delph.
Clearance made by Karim El Ahmadi.
Sebastian Larsson restarts play with the free kick.
Handball decision goes against Ciaran Clark.
Corner from the right by-line taken by Ashley Westwood.
The ball is swung over by Leandro Bacuna.
Clearance made by Leandro Bacuna.
Ciaran Clark challenges Steven Fletcher unfairly and gives away a free kick.
Shot by Ashley Westwood. Phil Bardsley gets a block in.
The ball is crossed by Leandro Bacuna.
The assistant referee flags for offside against Christian Benteke.
Sebastian Larsson shoots direct from the free kick and goes right of the target.
Ron Vlaar is given a yellow card.
Ron Vlaar gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Emanuele Giaccherini.
Corner taken by Ashley Westwood from the left by-line.
Short corner taken by Phil Bardsley.
Sebastian Larsson decides to take a short corner.
John O'Shea takes the free kick.
Antonio Luna gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Fabio Borini.
John O'Shea delivers the ball.
Emanuele Giaccherini fouled by Fabian Delph, the ref awards a free kick.
Free kick taken by Ciaran Clark.
The assistant referee signals for offside against Steven Fletcher.
Craig Gardner takes a shot and went wide left of the target.
Centre by Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Corner from the left by-line taken by Ashley Westwood.
Clearance by Fabian Delph.
Steven Fletcher makes a clearance.
Clearance by Wes Brown.
Centre by Karim El Ahmadi.
Fabio Borini gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ashley Westwood.
Christian Benteke concedes a free kick for a foul on Wes Brown.
Shot by Andrea Dossena went wide left of the goal.
Gabriel Agbonlahor takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Vito Mannone makes a block.
Bradley Guzan restarts play with the free kick.
Steven Fletcher is ruled offside.
The game kicks-off.
Lambert unfazed by Benteke drought
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert does not have any concerns about Christian Benteke's recent dry spell despite the striker's six-game run without a goal.
The powerful Belgian is Villa's top scorer with five goals this season but is currently enduring a barren spell following a recent hip injury.
Benteke scored 23 last season in a highly impressive debut campaign in the Barclays Premier League and Lambert believes it is unreasonable to expect his forward to hit those heights every week.
"I don't have any concerns whatsoever," said the Scot ahead of Saturday's visit of Sunderland.
"Even if he's not scoring he's still a handful, Christian.
"He'll come through it. I said to him the other day 'you won't play every single game where you score every single goal'. He'll be fine. I know exactly what he's offering to the team so I don't worry about him.
"If you can show me one striker who scores in every game, every minute, then I'll look at it. There's no such thing. I don't have a problem."
Lambert added: "I'm not getting involved in comparing him to other strikers.
"I know the value he has to me and I'll let other people surmise how Christian Benteke rates."
The last time Villa and Sunderland clashed, Lambert's side hammered the Black Cats 6-1 in a crucial victory in the fight against relegation last season.
While that victory helped spur Villa onto safety and allowed them to develop into a better side this season, Sunderland have seemingly gone backwards.
Paolo Di Canio has been sacked since that humiliating night at Villa Park but his successor Gus Poyet is also finding life tough, with the Wearsiders bottom of the table despite a couple of creditable victories.
"I was down there myself last year so I know exactly what it's like," said Lambert.
"You have to battle through it. It's not a nice place to be but there's still a long, long way to go.
"It's hard to judge because Gus has only been there for a few weeks and you're never quite sure. You don't know the lads he's got there.
"They've had a hard start. The last time we played them we won pretty convincingly at that time and everything we hit went in. We're certainly playing well enough to go and win but we'll have to wait and see how Sunderland are."
Lambert must decide whether to restore forwards Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andi Weimann to the starting line-up.
The pair came on as second-half substitutes in Monday's 2-2 draw with local rivals West Brom after recent injuries, along with midfielder Fabian Delph.
All three are available for the Black Cats' visit, as is left-back Antonio Luna after a recent hamstring complaint.
Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has called on his side to break their away-day curse.
Poyet's three away games in charge since taking over from Di Canio have yielded three defeats, three own goals and three red cards - although last week's for Wes Brown at Stoke was subsequently rescinded.
The Black Cats' luckless displays have been in stark contrast to their home form, which has seen successive wins over Manchester City and Newcastle and implied an ability to steer clear of trouble.
Poyet said: "I know that our last three away games were incredible. I try not to think too much about bad luck but when you get so many own goals and sendings-off it makes it difficult.
"So far I'm not worried but sometimes when you're down at the bottom and think you're doing well, you get a hammer in the head that brings you back down.
"We need to make sure we turn our away form into wins and prove we can get back with the other teams in the mix. All I am asking for is a normal game with no incidents."
Vito Mannone is expected to retain his place in goal as Keiren Westwood struggles to shake off a knock. Cuellar is ruled out with a hip injury but otherwise Poyet can choose from a fully fit squad.
© 2004 - 2015 football.co.uk