Villa's Christian Benteke ruled out of Belgium friendly

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Villa striker Christian Benteke is set to be ruled out of Belgium's friendly against Japan – but is expected to face Albion on Monday.

Paul Lambert's goalscoring talisman missed training last night with soreness in his knee and is not expected to figure against the Japanese tomorrow.

But sources in Belgium insist his absence is simply a precaution and he should be available for next Monday's showdown at The Hawthorns.

Benteke played for 76 minutes in Belgium's 2-0 home defeat to Colombia on Thursday.

Meanwhile, £50m striker Radamel Falcao today delivered a stunning snub to Villa skipper Ron Vlaar – by claiming he had never heard of him. The Monaco forward faces Vlaar when Colombia play Holland tomorrow.

Vlaar has helped Villa keep successive clean sheets in the Premier League and played in Holland's 2-2 draw with Japan on Saturday.

But Falcao insisted Vlaar is not on his radar and he will not worry about him when the teams clash in Amsterdam.

"No, I don't know him," he said. "I know Stefan de Vrij (Feyenoord captain) though and we have analysed him.

"It is a good test for us because they are two good teams."

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