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Premier League

  • 4 May 2013
  • • 15:00
  • • Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Referee: K. Friend
  • • Attendance: 26842

Norwich City - Aston Villa Preview: Benteke behind only Messi and Ronaldo for league goals in 2013

Paul Lambert takes his improving side back to his old stomping ground after picking up 10 points from a possible 18, with the Canaries winning just one of their last eight games



Martin, Turner, R Bennett, Whittaker
E Bennett. Howson, Johnson, Snodgrass
Holt, Kamara

Lowton Vlaar, Baker, Bennett
Sylla, Delph, Westwood
Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor

Sebastien Bassong (knee) is a doubt for Norwich after suffering an injury in the 1-0 defeat to Stoke City but Michael Turner (groin) is nearing a first-team return and could replace the centre-back.

John Ruddy could be available again after edging close to match fitness but Andrew Surman (knee) remains sidelined.

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has positive news heading back to his former club with Ciaran Clark (foot) and Karim El Ahmadi (groin) both in line for a return to the squad after missing the 6-1 thrashing of Sunderland.

Gary Gardner (knee) and Marc Albrighton (lacking match fitness) have returned to training but long-term absentees Chris Herd (foot) and Richard Dunne (groin) all remain out.

  • In the top five European leagues, only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have scored more goals in 2013 than Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke (pictured right).
  • The Villans have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 19 Premier League appearances, the worst record in the division.
  • Villa have conceded 64 goals this season, only Reading (65) and Newcastle (66) have let in more Premier League goals.
  • Norwich City have won just one of their last six meetings with Aston Villa.
  • However, they are undefeated in their last 7 Premier League home games.
  • The Canaries have kept nine clean sheets this season, with three of them coming in their last six games.
  • Paul Lambert's side are seventh in the Premier League form guide, above the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool.
  • Only QPR and Stoke City, with 29 and 31 respectively, have scored fewer goals than Norwich's 33 this season.


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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
13Mark BunnGoalkeeper
2Russell MartinDefender
5S. BassongDefender
18Javier GarridoDefender
24Ryan Bennett Defender
4Bradley JohnsonMidfielder
23Robert SnodgrassMidfielder
8Jonny HowsonMidfielder
12Anthony PilkingtonMidfielder
14Wesley HoolahanMidfielder
29Grant HoltStriker
1Lee CampGoalkeeper
3Steven WhittakerDefender
20Leon BarnettDefender
17Elliott BennettMidfielder
27Alexander TetteyMidfielder
10K. JacksonMidfielder
-Kei KamaraStriker
1Bradley GuzanGoalkeeper
4Ron VlaarDefender
3Joseph BennettDefender
2Nathan BakerDefender
34Matthew LowtonDefender
15Ashley WestwoodMidfielder
16Fabian DelphMidfielder
18Yacouba SyllaMidfielder
11Gabriel AgbonlahorStriker
20C. BentekeStriker
10Andreas WeimannStriker
31Shay GivenGoalkeeper
43Eric LichajDefender
-Charles N'ZogbiaMidfielder
14Brett HolmanMidfielder
46Barry BannanMidfielder
39Darren BentStriker
21Jordan Nathaniel BoweryStriker
Players to Watch
Grant Holt
Grant Holt
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 29
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The striker has not managed to hit the same heights as last term when there was talk of an England call-up but Holt's physical presence and ruthless play could see him bully the inexperienced Aston Villa defence as he aims to lift the Canaries to safety.
C. Benteke
C. Benteke
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 20
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Belgian has been a shining light for Aston Villa this season. Benteke comes into the game following Monday night's hat-trick against Sunderland, knowing that victory over Paul Lambert's old club can lift the relegation-battlers ahead of the hosts in the table.
With both sides looking for a win to relieve their relegation worries, Aston Villa's counterattacking style and Norwich's sturdy spine should complement each other well.

The Canaries have lost just three times at home all season, while Paul Lambert's side can almost guarantee goals on the road. Score draw.
Editor's Prediction

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