Villa's Kozak an injury doubt

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.

Lambert told the Birmingham Mail: "He had a problem with his toe which he got in the first half the other night and played on with it.

"It was too painful for him to get on it.

"Will he be okay to play against Manchester United? We have to wait and see how it is, it was giving him so much discomfort he couldn't get his boot on the other day."

Defender Ron Vlaar could also be absent from the Villa squad on Sunday after he missed both games against Fulham and Southampton due to a calf strain.

A calf injury kept Vlaar out for two months midway through last season, but Lambert doesn't anticipate he will miss the same length of time again.

Lambert said: "I don't know how long Ron is going to be out.

"It's hard to say, but it's not as bad as his last one was last year. Things are a lot more positive. I don't think it'll be months.

"I don't know about the United game, it depends how he's feeling."

Left-backs Antonia Luna and Joe Bennett are also set to remain sidelined.


The 2-0 defeat to Fulham put an end to Villa's five-game unbeaten run, in a performance that Lambert described as "tired".

Wins against Southampton and Cardiff, and draws with West Ham, West Brom and Sunderland had moved Villa up to 10th in the Premier League - but they will slip to 11th regardless of the result between Swansea and Hull on Monday evening.

Lambert said: "We looked tired: it looked a tired performance after the other night.

"But I couldn't fault my players for effort. We just never got going, but the decisions that came up helped them a wee bit.

"We have been excellent to go five games unbeaten in this league. Going to Southampton and winning was a massive result for us.

"But sometimes you've got to hold your hands up, and then move on."