Premier League Preview: Norwich City v Aston Villa
Paul Lambert will do battle with former club Norwich City when they take on his Aston Villa side in a vital game at the bottom of the table.
Lambert, who traded Norwich for Villa Park in June of last year, will be buoyed by his side’s 6-1 win over Sunderland on Monday, in which star striker Christian Benteke scored a second-half hat-trick to move Villa five points clear of relegation.
Despite that performance, Lambert will know his side are far from safe and face a difficult assignment against the Carrow Road outfit, who have lost only three times at home this campaign.
Villa have no new injury worries to contend with, although they are still without long-term absentees Chris Herd, Richard Dunne, Gary Gardener and Marc Albrighton.
Lambert therefore should be able to name an unchanged line-up and will hope his troops can maintain their fine form in front of goal against a home side that is likely to be without centre-back Michael Turner and goalkeeper John Ruddy once again.
Andrew Surman is also on the sidelines for Chris Hughton’s team but, even though Norwich have a relatively healthy squad their manager should harbour concerns about his side’s inability to find the back of the net on a regular basis.
The hosts were shut out by Stoke in their last encounter, slipping to a disappointing defeat in a game in which they lacked attacking impetus.
That loss left Norwich one point ahead of Villa, and after just one win in their last eight games, these are still troubling times for the fans at Carrow Road.
Both sides know a win will see them virtually safe from dropping into the Championship but they will be aware of the potential consequences of defeat, and therefore an anxious affair is to be expected on Saturday.
Wed 1 May, 2013