Albrighton vital for Benteke getting among the goals at Aston Villa
Belgium have shown that getting crosses in the box is a decent ploy for Christian Benteke
Christian Benteke scored from the substitute’s bench on his Aston Villa debut, but he has failed to build on this since, with four successive starts without a goal.
However, goals in back-to-back World Cup qualifiers for Belgium show that Villa fans need to remain patient that their new recruit will come good once settled.
One of the big problems for Villa is that they have failed to get the ball to Benteke in the right areas.
Although he is the obvious target man, Benteke spent far too much time with his back to goal outside of the penalty box in the latest Villa defeat at Tottenham.
His finishing has not been the most accurate since joining Villa and some fans may feel like they have another Emile Heskey on their hands.
Even Benteke’s only goal came from capitalising on a defensive mistake and tapping the ball home from barely an inch.
But he has shown on international duty that he can be lethal when receiving decent service from the wide areas, with both his Belgium goals coming from headers.
Only three Premier League teams average fewer crosses per game than Aston Villa this season, with Lambert opting for slightly narrow midfield or wingers that do not naturally attack the byline.
If only Villa still had Stewart Downing or Ashley Young offering width, then Benteke could have a field day.
Marc Albrighton is known for the accuracy of his crossing ability and now back from injury, he could prove of utmost importance on the right flank if Villa are to get the best from Benteke.
Albrighton has started Villa’s last two games and Lambert must encourage him to stay wide, gain a yard and get the ball in to the box at the earliest opportunity.
Villa travel to Fulham next, with Benteke 8/1 to open the scoring and a potentially lengthy 5/2 to find the target at any time in the 90 minutes.
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