Premier League: Aston Villa v Norwich City match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's fixture at Villa Park

Aston Villa and Norwich, 13th and 14th respectively. Both have played 27 matches, and both have 28 points in the Premier League. There isn't much to separate the two sides, but when they meet at Villa Park on Sunday, something has to give.

Chris Hughton silenced his critics last weekend, guiding Norwich one step closer to safety with a win against Tottenham. Many had predicted he was a game away from the sack, but three points at Carrow Road against a side not many expected them to beat will have hugely helped the Canaries' cause.

Aston Villa have won just twice since December 4th, but Paul Lambert will be hopeful of completing the double over a side in a similarly perilous position… a side he was managing just over 18 months ago. When the two met in September, a single Libor Kozak goal was enough to separate the teams. Another result like that would enable Paul Lambert to breathe a sigh of relief, but it will have to come from a player other than the aforementioned Kozak, a leg break ended his season in January.

Ryan Bertrand is another who may miss out, after Lambert revealed that he is struggling with illness in the lead-up to the match. Charles N'Zogbia (calf) and Jores Okore (knee) are both recovering from long-term injuries, but will be back in a matter of weeks rather than months.

Norwich are still without Jonas Gutierrez (calf), Elliott Bennett (knee) and Michael Turner (hamstring), while Ryan Bennett (hip) also just misses out. Another player Norwich are without, is striker Grant Holt. The 32-year-old is on loan at Aston Villa, and described facing the club he has made 154 appearances for as “very, very weird.”

 

The game on Sunday may go a long way to deciding who is safe and who is not, and both Aston Villa and Norwich will be doing everything to ensure it is not them scrapping away at the bottom come May.

KICK-OFF: Saturday, 3pm

PAST THREE MEETINGS:

Norwich 0 Aston Villa 1 (Kozak), Premier League, September 2013

Norwich 1 (Holt) Aston Villa 2 (Agbonlahor 2), Premier League, May 2013

Norwich 1 (Holt) Aston Villa 4 (Holman, Weimann 2, Benteke), Capital One Cup, December 2012

STATS:

Aston Villa have lost just one of their last 11 league meetings against Norwich City (W5 D5 L1).

Norwich have failed to score in six of their last 12 Premier League games, and have scored exactly one in each of the other six.

Aston Villa have scored just one goal from a corner this season, the fewest of any team in the Premier League.

Leroy Fer has committed more fouls than any other player in the top division this season (49).

ODDS:

Aston Villa to win: 2.18

Norwich City to win: 4

Draw: 3.5

TV: Live coverage on Sky Sports 3, Sunday 4.30pm (Highlights on BBC1, Sunday 10.25pm)

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk