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Norwich vs Aston Villa: Match preview

It’s time for Villa to figure out exactly who they are as they face Norwich

Aston Villa v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

After the exhilaration of a well-earned three points, Aston Villa head to Norfolk in search of further glory. Waiting for them? An underperforming Norwich team still very capable of taking a big chunk out of Villa’s potential points tally.

Norwich welcome Villa without having won for a few games, and will look to spark to life to give their fans a bit of joy, in a season seemingly without much of a point.

What to know about Aston Villa

Villa Park played the part of a great training ground for Aston Villa, who weren’t at all threatened by a beleaguered Reading side last time out.

Don’t get it too twisted though. The Villans still have a lot to prove, especially away from home, where they have been goalless in their last two outings on the road, away from Villa Park.

Still, there are a number of positives to take forward. The fact that Villa didn’t tax themselves too much in battering Reading is thankful, and we also have the reemergence of Birkir Bjarnason to look forward to. It might have only been ‘One Ninety Minutes TM’ but it was good to see the Icelandic midfielder hold it down so very well for Villa.

If he continues in this manner, he will be key for Villa. He’s the perfect catalyst and will allow Conor Hourihane and Jack Grealish to work that much better. Villa’s midfield with Bjarnason involved can transform into a sucking puzzle box, only allowing the most diligent of midfielders past and through onto Sam Johnstone’s goal.

Villa are still lacking a bit of identity, and might go into the game at Carrow Road not really knowing exactly who they are. Are they the team that capitulates so easy? Are they the team that bosses games? Who are they?

Let’s find out

What to know about Norwich

Well, things could be going a hell of a lot better for the Canaries, who are every bit trapped down a coal-mine, figuratively speaking of course.

Norwich seem deserving of their current position in the Championship table of 15th, as they boast the 15th most efficient attack in the league, with the ninth greatest defence according to Experimental 361. It shouldn’t be too difficult for Villa to take advantage here, but they’ve faced poorer teams in Bolton and Hull, but that didn’t go to plan.

In terms of defense, Norwich are full of problems and that number above probably belies them. The boss at Carrow Road, Daniel Farke, has been switching from a back-three, to a back-four over the past few games, and it is safe to say that his side are stuttering. If you believe Villa were dealt a cruel hand by Queens Park Rangers, think of Norwich - who made big chances, yet gave up a one-goal lead to lose 4-1 to the R’s.

Norwich have a number of threats, and I can’t look past James Maddison. His seven assists are certainly not to be sniffed at, especially for a middling team.

Prediction

2-1 to Villa, again. I’m going to be wrong