Premier League - Benteke ruled out until New Year

Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke has been ruled out until the New Year and will miss a hectic festive period.

The Belgian missed Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Stoke, having not been named in the squad despite travelling to the Britannia Stadium.

Benteke has struggled in front of goal since his return from a hip flexor injury in October, and has now gone 11 hours and 25 minutes without finding the back of the net.

Doubts have been raised over the 23-year-old's fitness over recent weeks and it now seems that he will miss a busy festive period for Villa.

Villa's star striker, who notched 19 league goals last season and single-handedly saved them from relegation, is expected to return in the New Year.