Brad Guzan today insisted Christian Benteke is a marked man but Aston Villa will not let him be bullied.
The Belgian drew a blank in Villa’s 1-0 defeat to Liverpool and was given special treatment by the Reds.
He had a penalty shout turned down after a shove from Kolo Toure and failed to add to his three goals this season after stunning saves from international team-mate Simon Mignolet.
Goalkeeper Guzan expects Benteke to come in for a rough ride and said his team-mates must support him.
He said: “I definitely think he’s becoming a marked man. When you are a top player you know other teams are going to look at you, try to shut you down and limit your chances.
“That’s what teams have been doing and they’ll do it in whatever way they deem necessary.
“Christian is going to have to fight through it at times and as a team we have to back him up. We are in this together. We have to find a way to keep battling and fighting and he’s a big part of it.”
Benteke smashed 22 goals last season and signed a new deal in the summer after initially handing in a transfer request. And Guzan insisted the 22-year-old can top his achievements this term.
“He is a huge player on the pitch. His ability to find spaces and get chances is great,” he said. “We’ve got a bunch of players who are good going forward.”