Tonight’s Capital One quarter final clash between Norwich and Aston Villa will mark Paul Lambert’s first visit to Carrow Road since his acrimonious departure from the club he guided to two successive promotions.
Lambert’s switch has proved that the grass is not always greener on the other side; despite drawing two of their last matches, it appears Villa are primed for a relegation battle.
They will seek respite in a competition they were runners in three seasons ago, against a Norwich side who are in the last eight for the first time since 1995/96.
With second season syndrome appearing to derail Chris Hughton’s Norwich after just two wins in their first nine games, the tide has turned in East Anglia; they are unbeaten in their last ten matches in all competitions, four points off the top four.
KICK-OFF: Tonight, 7.45pm
PAST THREE MEETINGS…
Aston Villa 1 (Benteke) Norwich 1 (Turner), Premier League, October 2012
Norwich 2 (Holt, Jackson) Aston Villa 0, Premier League, May 2012
Aston Villa 3 (Bent 2, Agbonlahor)0 Norwich 2 (Pilkington, Morison), Premier League, November 2011
Aston Villa have won all four previous League Cup ties against Norwich, including the 1975 final.
Villa’s only League Cup defeat in an away tie during the last six years was to Birmingham in December 2010, who were the eventual winners.
The Canaries have been knocked out of the League Cup by Premier League opposition in five of the last eight seasons.
Norwich's only win in their last nine meetings was a 2-0 home victory on the final day of last season, which proved to be Paul Lambert's last game in charge at Carrow Road.
Norwich to win: 2
Aston Villa to win: 4.1
TV: Highlights on BBC1’s League Cup Show on Wednesday at 11.15pm