Monday media watch [23.12.13 AM]: Papers on Stoke defeat
Birmingham Mail: Andi Weimann is determined to give the Villa Park faithful a belated Christmas present by getting back to winning ways against Crystal Palace on Boxing Day. Villa enter Thursday's fixture against Tony Pulis' strugglers on the back of three successive Premier League defeats to Fulham, Manchester United and Stoke City.
Birmingham Mail: Paul Lambert has defended his claret and blue bad boys after Villa were sent to the Premier League's naughty step for Christmas. Five bookings in Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Stoke at the Britannia Stadium means Villa are propping up the top flight's fair play table.
Birmingham Mail: Manager Paul Lambert is convinced Christian Benteke will not require an operation on the knee problem which has plagued him during his longest career goal drought. Benteke was taken out of the firing line for Saturday's defeat at Stoke to rest his injured joint and could miss this week's home double-header against Crystal Palace and Swansea.
The Sun: Paul Lambert insists Christian Benteke must rest if he is to recapture last season's form. Lambert left Benteke, 23, out of his Aston Villa squad to five the £25million-rated striker a chance to heal a knee injury he picked up playing for Belgium.
Times: The visiting team are strong in wide areas when they attack, but look vulnerable from the channels defensively. Brad Guzan, the Villa goalkeeper, said: "You have to be able to battle through and deal with crosses and we came up a bit short."
Daily Mail: Stoke's upturn in fortunes is in contrast to Aston Villa's three defeats in a row. With consecutive home games against Crystal Palace and Swansea over Christmas, goalkeeper Brad Guzan is determined to stop the rot.
*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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