Monday media watch [09.12.13 PM]: Kozak/Vlaar in fitness battle
Sky Sports: Aston Villa could be without striker Libor Kozak for the second game running as they prepare for their Super Sunday game with Manchester United. Kozak was left out of the Villa squad for their disappointing 2-0 weekend defeat at Fulham having sustained a toe injury during their 3-2 midweek victory at Southampton. The Czech international scored to put Villa 2-1 up against the Saints, but his injury forced him to be replaced by Christian Benteke two minutes later. The former Lazio forward has scored three times for Paul Lambert's side since joining in the summer.
Clubcall: Aston Villa's Ciaran Clark insists his side will not dwell on Sunday's loss at Fulham and has called for a response. Villa went into the game at Craven Cottage on the back of a win at Southampton and unbeaten in five fixtures, but suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Cottagers. Clark admits he is disappointed by the defeat but insists Villa will bounce back and the defender has urged his side to move on from the loss.
Express & Star: Libor Kozak and Ron Vlaar today added to Villa's injury woes and are already doubts to face Manchester United. The duo missed yesterday's 2-0 defeat at Fulham after suffering knocks in last week's win at Southampton. Vlaar came off at half time with a calf problem and Kozak, who scored his third of the season at St Mary's, picked up a toe injury. And boss Paul Lambert is unsure whether the duo will be fit in time to play United when the defending champions visit Villa Park on Sunday.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: Cristiano Ronaldo, Franck Ribery and Lionel Messi are on the three-man shortlist for the 2013 Ballon d'Or. The trio were chosen from the 23-man list, which included Gareth Bale, and the world player of the year will be revealed on 13 January.
Sky Sports: Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini has warned Arsenal cannot afford to lose focus as they face a run of fixtures which will test just how far they have come this season. The Gunners face a trip to Napoli for their final UEFA Champions League match before returning to face Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, where the hosts have won every Premier League game this season.
BBC Sport: Former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen says Everton attacking midfielder Ross Barkley has the ability to reach the highest levels in the game. Barkley, 20, has won three England caps and been tipped for a place in the squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
*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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