Christian Benteke has been ruled out of Aston Villa's Christmas and New Year fixtures.

The striker has been struggling with a knee problem and did not play in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Stoke.

Sky Sports News now understands Benteke could also miss the next three games, against Crystal Palace, Swansea and Sunderland.

Manager Paul Lambert had insisted the injury was not a major concern, adding: "He needs to have a wee bit of a rest and treatment. It's not long-term, I'm pretty sure it is not."