Saturday media watch [14.09.13]: Newcastle previews
Sky Sports: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert insists he will continue to employ an attacking style. Villa earned praise for their positive philosophy last season. Lambert believes Villa are better positioned to play with freedom this term after the Scot bolstered his squad over the summer.
Daily Express: Czech striker Libor Kozak is set to make his Aston Villa debut against Newcastle today, alongside goal machine Christian Benteke. The 6ft 4in Kozak joined Villa in a £7million deal from Lazio on transfer deadline day and manager Paul Lambert wants to ease the pressure on Benteke, who also cost £7m from Genk two seasons ago and has been a huge success with 27 goals in 41 games, including four so far this season. Kozak did not score a Serie A goal, but his 10 in the Europa League last season convinced Lambert he can be another bargain buy.
Daily Mirror: Christian Benteke is now the best player in the Premier League says team-mate Gabriel Agbonlahor. Belgium striker Benteke was a revelation following his £8million switch from Genk last season, hitting 23 goals. But he has already proved he is no one-season wonder by adding four goals this term. Ahead of today's home game with Newcastle, Agbonlahor told Mirror Sport: "Christian is world class - everyone sees that. This season he has been the best player in the league."
Daily Star: Aston Villa's roaring tiger Christian Benteke insists he's a pussycat off the pitch. Benteke has a fearsome reputation but it's the hotshot's goal touch, not his boxer's physique, that is striking fear into the best defences. The Belgian has carried on from last year with the goal power that saw his value soar to £30m. The 22-year-old, who scored 23 goals in his debut Premier League campaign, has already bagged four this season. Arsenal could not handle him in the opening day 3-1 home defeat with Benteke scoring twice. He got another against Chelsea and also scored in the Capital One Cup win over Rotherham. Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho spoke of Benteke's strength but the player says he is quiet as a mouse off the field.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert is prepared to unleash Christian Benteke and Libor Kozak as a strike partnership for Villa at some stage this season. And the claret and blue boss has challenged new boy Kozak to keep star striker Benteke on his toes and fearing for his place. Kozak has been added to an attacking department already including Benteke, Gabby Agbonlahor, Andi Weimann, Nicklas Helenius and Jordan Bowery. Lambert expects the Czech Republic international to bolster Villa's forward options and ward off any risk of complacency among his strikers.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert has praised the part Ian Culverhouse has played in helping him scout European talent. Of the seven summer signings the claret and blues have made, six were recruited from overseas. Libor Kozak is the latest continental hopeful to be snapped up by Villa, joining Aleksandar Tonev, Leandro Bacuna, Jores Okore, Nicklas Helenius and Antonio Luna. As well as signing English youngsters, Villa also looked abroad last summer, bringing in Christian Benteke, Ron Vlaar, Karim El Ahmadi a year ago and Yacouba Sylla in January. Lambert is relatively happy with his scouting system and gave a special mention to assistant manager Culverhouse, who plays a major role in unearthing gems, with the character of players often as important as their football ability.
Northern Echo: Yohan Cabaye is in line to make a return to the Newcastle United starting line-up today with manager Alan Pardew believing the Frenchman has "turned a corner" on Tyneside. The unsettled former Lille midfielder looks set to make his first start of the season at Aston Villa when loan signing Loic Remy, the club's only summer senior acquisition, is also primed for a full debut.But it will be the return of Cabaye to the Newcastle midfield which pleases Pardew the most, having been impressed with the way the player has tried to make amends for refusing to play in the opening three matches of the season. The 27-year-old was desperate to see a move to Arsenal go through, but the Gunners' reluctance to increase their £10m offer meant he has remained at St James' Park beyond last week's deadline day. Pardew has no concerns about selecting him.
*The extracts on this page are taken from various newspapers and media outlets. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Aston Villa.
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