The end is nearly in sight

16

As Villa embark on their final three Premier League games of the season, optimism couldn’t be higher at the club. Monday’s 6-1 demolition job of Sunderland has breathed fresh impetus into the claret and blue troops and the 2,400 strong travelling army will head to Carrow Road tomorrow full of expectancy and anticipation that another victory could well be on the cards.

Much of the pre-game build-up will be focused on the dugout and the return of Paul Lambert to his old stomping ground. Lambert was a huge success at Norwich and can take full credit for turning them into the Premier League team that they are today. After guiding them to back-to-back promotions and securing their top flight position last season, this will be the first time that their former manager has returned to Carrow Road in the Premier League. The reception for the Scotsman is sure to be a heated one but in my opinion Norwich fans should be a tad lenient on their former messiah and show him the respect he deserves for guiding them to where they are now.

However, much of the travelling army will be full of anticipation that we can all but secure Premier League safety when five o’clock sounds on Big Ben. Norwich are a team struggling for form and their players have found it hard of late to score goals, something which Villa seem to have no problem doing recently. With four wins from the last seven games, many fans feel that this would be a perfect opportunity to make it five from eight, myself included. Our forwards have been firing for the vast majority of the season and even the defence is starting to look more of a solid unit than it was earlier in the season. Also, there is the fact that we have already won convincingly at Carrow Road this season: a 4-1 demolition in the Capital One Cup was an early Christmas present before it all started to go wrong for Villa.

So then, what can we expect from Villa tomorrow when kick off arrives? Too many times the boys in claret and blue have had a good result but then not followed it through and continued in the same vein in the following games, the Liverpool game being a fine example. I suggest an approach of cautious optimistism when it comes to predictions and bets for the game tomorrow, but if I had to choose then I would have to go with my heart and say Villa to win – and convincingly too.

Team news:
Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy is in contention to make his return for Norwich after five months out with a thigh injury in Saturday’s game. Defender Sebastien Bassong has shaken off an ankle problem but fellow centre-half Michael Turner (groin) is still sidelined. Forward Kei Kamara plays the last match of his loan spell from Major League Soccer club Sporting Kansas City, and will return to the United States unless a permanent transfer is agreed.

Aston Villa could be without defender Ciaran Clark and midfielder Karim El Ahmadi again when they travel to Carrow Road. The pair missed Monday’s 6-1 win over Sunderland, with Clark struggling with a foot injury and El Ahmadi nursing a groin strain. They will be assessed ahead of the match. Villa manager Lambert has no new headaches ahead of his return to his old club, with Richard Dunne, Marc Albrighton, Gary Gardner and Chris Herd all long-term absentees.

Opta stats:

  • Norwich have won just one of their last nine Barclays Premier League meetings with Aston Villa, drawing five and losing three.
  • Following his goal against Sunderland last week, Gabriel Agbonlahor is now the top scoring Aston Villa player in Premier League history (61).
  • Christian Benteke has won more aerial duels than any other player in the top five European leagues (261).

Prediction:
Norwich 1-3 Aston Villa (First scorer; WOAHHHHHHH CHRISTIAN BENTEKE)
I was mocked in my previous article for saying Villa would win 3-1 against Sunderland. People doubted that Villa would get a draw let alone score three goals, so as I write this, sitting here all smug, I am going for the same scoreline again. The only thing that seems guaranteed on Saturday is that a clean sheet will remain nothing more than a pipe dream.

 

16 COMMENTS

  1. Be very tough against Norwich some of our supporters are a bit too confident. They need the win too, they are the home team and your right about us not being consistent by following up a good result with another. I hate to say it but I think it will end a draw my head says so my heart is the opposite and says a win, should be a decent game.

  2. “I suggest an approach of cautiously optimistic…but if I had to choose then I would have to go with my heart and say Villa to win and convincingly too.” How very cautious of you.

  3. Even after watching the Sunderland game which was a sublime result I am sticking with my BBC Predictor score for this game and that is Villa win 2-0.

    I simply cannot see Norwich getting anything from this game and if Wigan pull off the win at the weekend I believe Norwich will go down.

  4. Comfortable win for Aston Villa, Norwich are awful and have been since xmas. if we score less than two against them I will be shocked.

  5. It will be a easy win tomorrow with a 4-1 win to us.
    I am not a negative person like some one I know yes you know who I am talking about.
    We got these 3 points in the bag just as long as Mr Friend give it 50 50 not 10 90 to them as that what he normaly does.

    Come on the Villa

  6. A solid 1-0.
    …we will score early and then play like a well crafted Arsenal back 5 of the early 90’s. We will never look like conceding and show complete confidence. MOM will be gladly received by “surprise surprise …a forward pass”.

    ***taking medication***

    …or we will win 4-2 in a frantic attacking, crap not another corner, where are my nails Villa 2013 classic. I will still expect Sylla to play a blinder though. I just love his through balls to Guzan.

  7. I will be at the game as ever and I am thinking of doing another knew saucy photo for Twitter something slightly more naked hehehe

    We will win 3-1

    Holtenders in the SKY UTV!!!!

  8. I stick with what I said before I reckon we will win really comfortably the front 3 have got the bit between the teeth and will make it look easy.

  9. @Villabitch001 You could do a tasteful naked shot like american beauty only covering your modesty with a Home & Away Villa jersey 😀 UTV!!!!

  10. Wekl what can i say a naked shot ha ha I may be confident about the Villa but i may not be as confodent as the American Beauty ha ha ,,Villa will do us proud tomorrow a confident win. Positive but my knees are trembling and my voice is ready for To join the Loud and Proud Lions as they Roar the team to Victory ..can see Villa winning 4 -1 Villaboys u are now men and i am loving the amount of passion on the field…Always nice to see Good Luck..
    Villa Fans i will be there and i will be Proud to be there among you all..

  11. Hello again !!! I didnt write i would get my tits out for a pic ha ha how naughty are you … uumm but the villa will win tommorrow and safe journey to everyone and lets all stick together and have fun and loadsa beers and of course remember if you see me its your round yeah ha ha #comeonthevilla #mission win win win xxxxxxxxyipeeeeeeeeeee Villa till we die

  12. Come on the villa boys today. Takin over Norwich centre it’s like the good old days! I’m going for a handsome 3-1 to the claret an blue. If the boggies win a draw will do us though. Gotta chant Lambo’s name loud an proud today. COYL

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