Aston Villa will take on Norwich City today but the game would have to be something very special for it to tip the 4-2 thriller that we witnessed earlier this season at Villa Park.

A Connor Hourihane hat-trick on the day helped us register our first win of the season which sent us on a run of just 1 loss in the next 12 games. The Villa faithful will be hoping the trip to East Anglia will provide us with a similar run as that game did at the start of the season sending us into the playoffs, which seem our most likely root to Premier League, inform and on a high.

THE OPPOSITION

Since that game, the two clubs seasons have gone on very different trajectories. The Canaries, currently sitting in 14th place, find themselves in no man’s land with an 18 point gap separating them from the relegation zone whilst also being 11 points off the playoff spots. A big problem that Norwich have had this season is that they have drawn too many games with 13 stalemates so far.

However, Norwich has had a few positives this season such as the form star player James Maddison is showing, a player who Norwich fans have resigned themselves to losing in the summer most likely to a big Premier League side. The young Englishman has picked up 13 goals and 7 assists this term from an attacking midfield position. He also boasts an impressive 86.3% passing accuracy and was named this week in the Championship Team of the Season so he will certainly be one to watch for Villa’s trusty backline.

He has been key for the 4-2-3-1 formation that manager Daniel Farke has implemented since arriving at the club. The use two defensive-minded midfielders who sit back allowing Maddison to venture forward combining with the lone striker, Nelson Oliviera who sits on 8 goals this season.

One thing that hasn’t been great for Norwich is their recent form picking up just 1 win in their last 10 matches, a 3-2 win against Reading. They will be entering the game on a low after a 4-1 defeat to QPR mid-week the opposite of us who will be heading into the match on a high after the convincing 3-0 win against Reading on Tuesday evening.

TEAM NEWS

Aston Villa is set to be without Alan Hutton who is expected to return towards the end of April. Andre Green is also expected to sit this game out with a return likely in the coming weeks as he returns to full fitness.

Norwich will be without Marco Stiepermann, Tom Trybull and Moritz Leitner through injury but Farke could also make a few unforced changes after his sides humiliating defeat to QPR.

THE BIG MATCH

Norwich’s current league position could serve as an advantage to us as they may have the mentality that there’s very little to nothing play for. For us, however, Steve Bruce has made sure there are no questions amongst the Villa players that this game is a “must-win”. If we come out hungry and with an attacking mentality we should come away from Carrow Road with three points.

Bruce’s main priority should be neutralising the threat Maddison provides. For me, the man to do that is Bikir Bjarnason as he is the most mobile of our defensive midfielders as I believe Mile Jedinak and Glenn Whelan wouldn’t be able to keep up with the 21-year-olds speed and energy.

Although Maddison has been in fine form this campaign, Norwich hasn’t been in as good form in front of goal scoring only 42 goals in 40 games so I expect if we play to our full potential, our defence will be relatively untroubled. Defensively, Norwich hasn’t been great either conceding 50 goals so far this campaign which could prove to be what our in-form forwards need to get us three hugely important points.

TICKET INFORMATION

Villa has sold their full allocation of 2,000 tickets so advice would be not to travel with a ticket. A full away day guide can be found here.

LIVE MATCH CHAT

Can’t make the game? Well, why not discuss the game on our Aston Villa forums with fellow Villa supporters.

Join us for Aston Villa vs Norwich match chat.

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