Milner - WC battle will benefit Villa

Competing strikers to boost club according to Villa ace

Milner backing Agbonlahor

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

James Milner insists that Aston Villa can only benefit from the likely battle for a World Cup spot between Gabriel Agbonlahor and Emile Heskey.

Heskey and Agbonlahor are amongst the pool of strikers who will be competing for places in Fabio Capello's squad.

With Wayne Rooney the only likely front-man already guaranteed a seat on the flight to South Africa next summer, Milner fully expects Agbonlahor to push his team-mate Heskey and others for a place in the squad.

Agbonlahor impressed in his first-ever start at Wembley in the midweek win over Belarus.

"Gabby has been on fire for Villa and that is how he has forced his way back into the England reckoning," said Milner.

"That is all credit to him. It is down to him and his performances. The England manager picks players on form and he did well again against Belarus.

"Emile has also done well. I am sure both Martin O'Neill and Mr Capello would rather have competition for places and have these problems and have headaches over who to play where.

"They both have two good quality players to choose from. Hopefully both will just keep playing better and better and putting each other under pressure.

"That can only make their performances even better and that can only benefit Aston Villa.

"If you look at who are the ideal players for the strikers, it is going to be a tough call for the manager to decide who he wants to go to the World Cup.

"Getting into that squad will be in the back of all the players' minds but there is still a long way to go yet and plenty of time for decisions to be made.

"Players will be thinking about it but there is a lot of football still to go between now and then and a couple more friendlies to come for England.

"The majority of games are going to be for your club and so that is where you are going to have to keep your form going really."