PREVIEW: Norwich City

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Hause could team up with Mings

Aston Villa will wrap up the regular season at home to already promoted Norwich City today.

Villa welcome the Canaries who have been hugely impressive and have defied the odds to exceed all expectations and return to the Premier League for the first time since 2016.

Norwich, managed by Daniel Farke, also have the chance to wrap up the title today needing only to match Sheffield United’s result who themselves travel to Stoke City.

Despite it being meaningless in regards to league position, with 5th already wrapped up, Dean Smith will be looking to give some players a rest whilst giving others the opportunity to impress.

Several fringe players will come in and it’s important should they be needed to step in during the upcoming playoffs.

Villa are unbeaten in 12 Championship games, with the record run of 10 wins coming to an end in the chaotic game away to Leeds United last week.

John McGinn and possibly Jack Grealish will be rested whilst Tammy Abraham will still be missing as he steps up his recovery from a shoulder injury sustained away to Bolton Wanderers.

Whilst there will be a somewhat sense of caution to protect players, Villa will want to continue their unbeaten run ahead of what is looking like a two-legged tie against local rivals West Bromwich Albion.

THE OPPOSITION
Norwich sit top and with good reason too. Only losing 6 games all season and the top scorers with 91 goals, Farke’s side have built a resilience that has seen them win several games and pick up valuable draws with late goals.

In terms of away form, the Canaries have picked up 42 points from 66 available winning 11, drawing 9 and losing only twice.

They will be happy to attack and concede space behind which could make for an open game. The likes of attacking-midfielder Marco Stiepermann and top scorer and EFL Championship Player of the Year, Teemu Pukki will be at the centre of most attacks.

Should they be kept quiet in the centre, wingers Emi Buendia (8 goals, 11 assists) and Onel Hernandez (8 goals, 9 assists) will drive out wide and add to the attack.

Norwich come into the game with 4 draws in their last 5, winning their previous fixture 2-1 at home to Blackburn Rovers with Stiepermann and Marco Vrancic on target with an impressive, trademark long range strike.

ONE TO WATCH

Despite several players to choose from, my one to watch in this game is Marco Stiepermann. The German, signed from VFL Bochum has been a centre figure for Norwich and can pick a pass, dictating play from his clever sense of positioning. He has also socre some impressive goals both in and around the box and has been a huge part of Norwich Citys’s success this season.

HEAD TO HEAD
Today’s meeting will be the 70th meeting in all competitions between the two sides. Villa lead the head to head battle with 32 wins. Norwich have won 21 with 16 games ending in draws.

Norwich won the reverse fixture this season 2-1 and last season at Villa Park was the opening game of the season when Villa won 4-2.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Mcginn will definitely be rested, Abraham is still not ready to return and a few others will probably be missing.

Predicted XI: Good luck! An impossible task due to likely rested players but I fully expect to see Davis, Hourihane, Bjarnason, Hutton and the likes playing a part. EFL rulings state that 10 players from the listed squad in the previous fixture must be named, so will be challenging.

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