Ensuring Gabby Agbonlahor returns to full fitness is the number one concern of Gerard Houllier as he attempts to continue the bright start he has made to his tenure at Aston Villa.
Houllier has won his first two games since taking over at Villa Park, which has seen Villa cut to 10/1 to finish in the top four, but he has only had Agbonlahor on the pitch for 30 minutes in this time before he was troubled by a groin problem.
The England international had only just returned from a calf groin injury that had caused him to miss the start of the campaign and Houllier is keen to have Agbonlahor back to 100 per cent as soon as possible.
Houllier said: “My concern is Gabby because Gabby again has felt his groin.
“We will have to investigate a bit more. The calf problem has gone, now it’s gone up his body. I hope it doesn’t go too much higher.”
Although Agbonlahor may not be recognised for his scoring exploits, his explosive pace and directness adds another dimension to Villa’s attacking threat, particularly when they are in a position to sit back and hit teams on the break.
Meanwhile, he also feeds well of the likes of John Carew and Emile Heskey, who are much more comfortable holding up the ball and bringing others into the play.
Villa’s next game is at Tottenham, but they have not lost away to Harry Redknapp’s team in the past three Premier League seasons.
Aston Villa are 3/1 to beat Tottenham, with the home side 1/1 to collect the three points.
Agbonlahor is 66/1 to end the season as the top scorer in the Premier League, having scored 35 league goals in the last three seasons. See the complete Premier League top scorer betting odds market.