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Premier League

  • 27 October 2012
  • • 12:45
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: P. Dowd
  • • Attendance: 33184

Aston Villa - Norwich City Preview: Both sides looking for their second win of the season

Paul Lambert faces his former team desperate for a victory after losing three of his last four games, while Chris Hughton’s squad go into the tie fresh from beating Arsenal



Lowton, Vlaar, Clark, Bennett
El Ahmadi, Delph, Ireland, N'Zogbia Agbonlahor, Benteke

R.Martin, Turner, Bassong, Garrido Snodgrass, Johnson, Tettey, Pilkington

Villa boss Paul Lambert could make a couple of changes from the team which narrowly lost 1-0 away to Fulham.

The changes could come further up the field with Charles N'Zogbia in contention for a recall as Lambert looks for more creativity. Darren Bent may also drop back down to the bench after failing to net against the Cottagers as Christian Benteke comes back in. Richard Dunne (groin) and Gary Gardner (ACL) remain on the sidelines.

Ciaran CLark has stepped up his recovery from a knee injury and only missed last weekend's game at Fulham after failing a late fitness test.

As for the Canaries, Chris Hughton has a fully-fit squad to pick from and is unlikely to alter the side too much from the XI that beat Arsenal 1-0. Sebastien Bassong and Michael Turner impressed in the heart of the defence to shut out the Gunners and look set to keep their places.

Former Leeds United man Robert Snodgrass could come into the starting line-up, possibly in place of Elliot Bennett, while Grant Holt will again be expected to lead the line as the visitors search for their first away win of the season.


  • Aston Villa and Norwich have the joint-worst scoring record in the Premier League along with Sunderland so far this season - finding the back of the net just six times so far.
  • Summer signing Christian Benteke has an impressive scoring ratio. He scored 19 times in 37 matches for Genk last season and has netted five times in 10 internationals for Belgium.
  • Last season’s fixture at Villa Park finished 3-2 to the home side. Anthony Pilkington (pictured right), opened the scoring for the Canaries but Villa hit back with two goals from Darren Bent and a Gabriel Agbonlahor strike, before Steve Morison grabbed the last goal of the game.
  • Paul Lambert had an impressive record in charge of Norwich - he won 70 of his 142 matches at the club - giving him a 49.30 per cent win ratio.
  • Both sides have only won one Premier League game so far this season - Villa beat Swansea City 2-0 at home while the Canaries beat Arsenal 1-0.
  • Norwich’s highest-ever league finish was back in the 1992-93 season when they finished third in the innaugral Premier League.


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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
1Bradley GuzanGoalkeeper
4Ron VlaarDefender
29Joseph BennettDefender
34Matthew LowtonDefender
8Karim El AhmadiMidfielder
12Marc AlbrightonMidfielder
14Brett HolmanMidfielder
16Fabian DelphMidfielder
17Chris HerdMidfielder
11Gabriel AgbonlahorStriker
20C. BentekeStriker
31Shay GivenGoalkeeper
43Eric LichajDefender
32Stephen IrelandMidfielder
15Ashley WestwoodMidfielder
46Barry BannanMidfielder
39Darren BentStriker
10Andreas WeimannStriker
1John RuddyGoalkeeper
2Russell MartinDefender
5S. BassongDefender
6Michael TurnerDefender
18Javier GarridoDefender
4Bradley JohnsonMidfielder
12Anthony PilkingtonMidfielder
14Wesley HoolahanMidfielder
17Elliott BennettMidfielder
27Alexander TetteyMidfielder
9Grant HoltStriker
13Declan RuddGoalkeeper
20Leon BarnettDefender
24Ryan Bennett Defender
23Robert SnodgrassMidfielder
8Jonny HowsonMidfielder
10K. JacksonMidfielder
20Steve MorisonStriker
Players to Watch
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
2 0 1 0
The 26-year-old has been one of Villa’s better performers over recent games. The forward still lacks a clinical edge in front of goal but if he could manage to hit the back of the net more often then Lambert’s side could have the influential player which they’ve been missing. His blistering pace is always a threat and Norwich’s backline will have to keep a close eye on him.
Grant Holt
Grant Holt
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
After a slow start to the campaign the powerful striker has rediscovered his scoring boots - netting against Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal. The former Shrewsbury Town man was heavily linked with a move to line-up with his former boss Lambert at Villa Park over the summer and the home side’s backline will need to be prepared for a battle if they are to stop him from finding the net again.
Both sides sit just outside the relegation zone but head into the match in differing spirits -  with one losing 1-0 and the other winning by the same scoreline in the previous game. With only three clean sheets between the two so far this season goals are likely to be on the cards and the match may well finish in a scoredraw.
Editor's Prediction

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