Aston Villa's remaining schedule is, on paper, pretty soft. Unfortunately, every side in the bottom half is pretty bad and that pretty clearly includes Villa; there's not much compelling reason to think any team below 10th couldn't be beaten by 20th-placed Fulham on any given day, and it's been some time since table placement was less indicative of actual quality.
All of the above is a roundabout way of saying that, while this is a huge opportunity for Villa to make a significant move away from the relegation zone, without homefield advantage-and in fact with the evidence pointing to there being a homefield disadvantage-there isn't going to be a game about which we're going to feel confident the rest of the way. Obviously, that could change pretty much on a dime, but I doubt any of us are expecting it. So games like this one are really, really important, because while I think Villa fans are largely resigned to supporting for a pretty mediocre, uninspiring team, I'm not sure many of us can deal with another relegation battle.
Aston Villa Starting XI
Brad Guzan; Nathan Baker, Ron Vlaar, Leandro Bacuna, Ryan Bertrand; Karim El Ahmadi, Ashley Westwood, Fabian Delph; Andi Weimann, Gabby Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke
Aston Villa Subs
Jed Steer, Joe Bennett, Ciaran Clark, Marc Albrighton, Yacouba Sylla, Grant Holt, Callum Robinson
Norwich City Starting XI
John Ruddy; Russell Martin, Sebastien Bassong, Martin Olsson, Joseph Yobo; Bradley Johnson, Robert Snodgrass, Nathan Redmond, Alexander Tettey; Gary Hooper, Wes Hoolahan
Norwich City Subs
Mark Bunn, Steven Whittaker, Jonathan Howson, Anthony Pilkington, Johan Elmander, Luciano Becchio, Ryan Bennett