After a horrible 2-0 loss at Fulham at the weekend, Aston Villa have received more bad news: it seems both forward Libor Kozák and defender Ron Vlaar will likely miss the match against Manchester United.
The Villa, after going five games unbeaten in Premier League play, looked positively woeful against relegation-threatened Fulham. To an extent, it's understandable: the club is still in transition, and Paul Lambert is trying to figure out just what tactics and formations work with the players he's got. There's also the fact that Villa were missing three of their best defenders and, when looking at Steve Sidwell's goal (ugh), you just get the feeling that captain Vlaar would've made sure it didn't go in. Leandro Bacuna sure would've appreciated the help, anyway.
Defensive shambles, however, might have been overcome had the front three managed to get more than a measly two shots on target. Christian Benteke is still paralyzed, Andi Weimann has fallen off a cliff, and only Gabby Agbonlahor looks like he knows how to threaten a goal. Kozák still might not be looking all that impressive, but at least he scored last time out.
Lambert says that Vlaar's calf issue isn't as bad as last season's, when he missed two months -- we're talking weeks instead. We hope. As for Kozák's toe, the striker said on Twitter that he's really hoping he'll be back next week.
- After a roller-coaster week, Aston Villa look ahead to vulnerable Manchester United
- FA Cup third round draw: Aston Villa playing host to Sheffield United
- Instant reaction and highlights from Aston Villa's loss at Fulham
- Fulham vs. Aston Villa, open match thread: Benteke is back
- Aston Villa look to take another step towards legitimacy against Fulham