With a crucial game early in the campaign for Paul Lambert's struggling young side, a win surely must be his goal. With a tricky tie at home against Tottenham coming up on Tuesday in the League Cup followed by hosting Manchester City next weekend, a win at Carrow Road would surely instill some confidence back into the Villa team.
In the past Lambert has shown attacking intent, usually with 3 strikers on the pitch at a time in his recently preferred 4-3-3 formation. After three straight Premier League defeats however, one wonders if it may be time to change that up, especially with forward Andi Weimann really struggling as of late and central defender Jores Okore ruled out for the season after an ACL injury sustained in the past weekends match against Newcastle.
Here are a few possible lineup options that I have explored that Lambert may go with for tomorrows match:
The preferred 4-3-3
Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Luna; Westwood, Delph, El Ahmadi; Weimann, Benteke, Agbonlahor
It could be argued that Yacouba Sylla could be introduced for El Ahmadi after the Moroccan struggled last weekend in wider areas, as well as not having a tackle or interception in 67 minutes of play. Sylla brings a bit more physicality and pace to the table, but he has not played a single minute of Premier League football this season.
Revisiting the 3-5-2
Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Clark; Bacuna, Westwood, Sylla, Delph, Bennett; Benteke, Agbonlahor
Much has been made of Lambert not wanting to or not having the funds to bring in a trequartista or number 10 in the summer transfer window. That may make this formation not as viable, especially with Gary Gardner struggling with a back injury as of late. Summer signing Leandro Bacuna deserves a chance to start, and this could be a good formation for Lambert, as Villa could do better to retain more possession; Villa and Norwich are tied for joint lowest possession in the Premier League so far at 42%.
Attacking 4-2-2-2 / 4-4-2
Guzan; Lowton, Vlaar, Baker, Luna; Tonev, Westwood, Delph, Agbonlahor; Kozák, Benteke
Some people have been speculating that deadline day signing Libor Kozák will be handed a full debut by manager Paul Lambert this Saturday. If not, I believe it will come in the Cup game against Spurs. Last weekend against Newcastle he had only five touches after coming on as a substitute in the 67th minute. Kozák's inclusion may come at the expense of Weimann, who has gotten off to a slow start. Tonev also has not had much playing time so far, and this could be a good time for him to get some game action.