In the past five-and-a-half years, Aston Villa and Norwich City have played each other ten times. And almost every single time, I have come into the match thinking that Aston Villa had a real shot at winning. For some reason, Villa just seem to play better against Norwich City.
But after the 1-0 defeat at Carrow Road in December, I began to wonder if Aston Villa actually had been any better than the Canaries in that stretch. It turns out that my gut feelings had been right. In those ten matches, Aston Villa have only lost three times, accompanied by a draw and six wins. If you take out the League Cup match in that span, Villa have taken sixteen points from the twenty-seven available. That’s not world-beating, but that 1.77 point-per-match record would be enough to have Villa sitting in a playoff position right now.
That’s a long-winded way of saying that I hope that Villa can do what they do best against Norwich City in the past few years: win. Or heck, at least nab a draw. Beating the eighth-place team in the league to crawl closer to a top-ten spot would be a splendid way to return from the international break.
Location: Villa Park, Birmingham, England
Kick-off time: 3 PM BST, 10 AM Eastern, 7 AM Pacific
Available TV: None
Available streaming: None
Available radio: BBC WM 95.6 FM (not online), AVTV (If audio doesn’t work, try using Safari)
Other listings are available from livesoccertv.com.
Aston Villa squad
Since Villa can’t be normal, the starting XI is: Johnstone, Hutton, Chester, Baker, Taylor, Adomah, Jedinak, Lansbury, Hourihane, Hogan, Kodjia,
Norwich City squad
TEAM: McGovern; Pinto, Bennett, Martin (c), Whittaker; Tettey, Dorrans; Ja. Murphy, Howson, Pritchard; Jerome. #ncfc— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) April 1, 2017