Competition: Premier League – Aston Villa vs. Norwich
Venue: Villa Park – Saturday, February 6 – 15:00 GMT (10:00 ET)
Match Odds: Aston Villa 11/8 – Draw 9/4 – Norwich 2/1
Villa come into the game already looking doomed. Their 2-0 loss at West Ham on Tuesday saw them lose for the 15th time in the Premier League this season and they are now ten points adrift of safety.
They will look to lower that ten-point gap here though, as Norwich are the side sitting one place outside of the bottom three going into the weekend.
An Aston Villa win would keep their faint hopes alive, though a defeat would surely seal their fate. This is the club’s biggest game of the season and they must now step up to the occasion.
Norwich also know this game is monumental as far as their survival hopes go. They lost a fourth-straight game on Tuesday as Spurs thumped them 3-0 and a massive response is now needed.
The Canaries have only won one of their last eleven league games away from home and so this one is extremely close to call as neither side looks in a good position to go and win the match.
Norwich can take confidence from the fact they won the reverse fixture 2-0 at the end of December, though they have not won away at Villa Park since 1992.
Aston Villa have been hit with another blow as top scorer Jordan Ayew will miss three games through suspension after his red card against West Ham on Tuesday. That leaves Gabriel Agbonlahor as Remi Garde’s only fit striker as Rudy Gestede and Libor Kozak are both doubts, along with Ashley Westwood, Alan Hutton and Carlos Sanchez. Jordan Amavi and Adama Traore are both definitely out.
Norwich boss Alex Neil has less to worry about on the injury front and he will hope Robbie Brady and Graham Dorrans are well again after missing the midweek game through illness. Alexander Tettey is the only definite absentee as he will serve a one-game ban as a result of picking up ten yellow cards.
Aston Villa’s last five: L/W/D/D/L
Norwich’s last five: W/L/L/L/L
Key Stat: Aston Villa have only won one of their last 23 Premier League games.
Key Player: Steven Naismith – The new Norwich attacker has yet to win a game in a Canaries shirt but will expect to hurt the Villa defence enough to earn three points on Saturday afternoon.
Aston Villa 1-1 Norwich – A draw would not suit either side but this game looks set to end that way as neither side can boast any sort of encouraging form coming into what is a huge clash. Villa have several key players out, while the Canaries have lost four on the bounce. A hard-fought draw looks likely.