Wednesday media watch [18.06.14 PM]: New season in focus
Clubcall: West Brom are now favourites to sign Aston Villa target Joleon Lescott as he is set to link up with new Albion boss Alan Irvine. The 31-year-old former England centre-back Lescott is out of contract this summer after five years with Manchester City and was linked with a move to both Villa and Hull City. However Lescott was previously at Everton and worked there with Irvine, who it was confirmed at the weekend was leaving his position on the Toffees' coaching staff to take over as Albion boss.
ITV Sport: Aston Villa will begin the 2014-15 season with an away fixture at Stoke City in the Premier League on Saturday August 18. The first game of the season at Villa Park will be against Newcastle United the following weekend. The derby days against West Brom are at The Hawthorns on Saturday December 13 and at home on Tuesday March 3. The final game of the season will be at home to Burnley on May 24.
Clubcall: Aston Villa will kick-off their new Premier League campaign with a trip to face Stoke City on the weekend of August 16. Following the clash with Mark Hughes' Potters at the Britannia Stadium, Paul Lambert's men then host Newcastle and Hull before facing Liverpool away, Arsenal at home, Chelsea away and Manchester City at home in a daunting run of fixtures. Boxing Day sees them travel to Swansea with Crystal Palace visiting on New Year's Day. Villa draw their campaign to a close at home to Burnley.
Express & Star: Former Villa defender Derek Mountfield today warned Villa they risk losing Ron Vlaar. The Villa skipper has one year left on his deal and an impressive World Cup could spark serious interest. Vlaar excelled in the Netherlands' 5-1 demolition of Spain in their opening game in Brazil and they face Australia tonight. And Mountfield admitted Vlaar's World Cup showings could come at a serious price for Villa, who are yet to open contract talks.
Best of the Rest
BBC Sport: England manager Roy Hodgson has reiterated his support for Wayne Rooney, insisting England might not even be in Brazil without the striker. Rooney, 28, was used in a wide role in England's loss to Italy, sparking debate over his position in the side.
Sky Sports: Adam Lallana admits England are facing an 'all-or-nothing' World Cup clash against Uruguay. Roy Hodgson's side are searching for their first point in Group D after suffering a frustrating 2-1 defeat to Italy in their opening match on Saturday.
BBC Sport: England have a bright future and should go into their match against Uruguay confident of victory, says former captain Gary Lineker. Roy Hodgson's team, beaten 2-1 by Italy in their opening World Cup game on Saturday, play Uruguay on Thursday.
*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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