The Villa Appetiser: Chris Hughton says Norwich Due an Easier Win

aston villa match preview

Aston Villa vs Norwich City 2014


With the whiff of relegation danger in the air at Villa Park, it’s time to finally make home comforts count. Norwich City is the first of three games on the trot at Villa Park. Each of them very much putting Paul Lambert in the spotlight. UTV


Lambert on his old club:

“Circumstances dictate certain things and it’s gone now, I don’t look back on it. What happened, happened. I don’t hold any grudge against Norwich City.

“I had a great three years there and the players deserve all the credit for what we achieved. For me, Sunday is just another game and if you end up prioritising you fall flat on your face.

“It’s a game we’ll try to win and we could do with one after losing so late at Newcastle last weekend. But there’s no extra motivation for me to win just because it’s Norwich.”


Hughton’s optimism ahead of Villa clash:

“We’re due a game where we make life a little bit more comfortable for ourselves. One of these days we just need to get that second goal to alleviate the pressure on the team.

“We are conscious of the fact we are not scoring enough goals. Certainly confidence comes into play and a level of composure and maybe even a touch of good fortune. We are buoyed by the fact we are creating chances, but we need to put a higher percentage away. There is nobody working harder than myself and the coaches to remedy that. There might have been a period in the season when we were guilty of not creating enough clear-cut chances; I don’t believe that is the case now and I feel it is something that can turn on any given moment.


Form is Temporary

Memory match:

05 November 2011 Aston Villa 3 – 2 Norwich

Plenty of goals in this game, making it quite uncharacteristic of the McLeish era. Agbonlahor scored one and the other two were bagged by Darren Bent, if you remember him.

Aston Villa: Last five league matches at home: W 1, D 1, L 3

Norwich: Last five league matches away: D 2, L 3

Since they’ve been back in the Premier League, Norwich haven’t won at Villa Park.


One to Watch

Nathan Remond – Pacey Birmingham-born midfielder. Could cause havoc for Villa’s unpredictable defence.


Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet

 Chris Hughton spoke of his worries regarding the low amount of Norwich goals this season, but it’s nothing compared to our team, who have only scored one goal in February. We haven’t managed a goal in our last three games, so perhaps something needs to change in the line-up on Sunday. Our diabolical home record has produced some horrid stats, but perhaps the worst is that in our last 51 home matches, we’ve averaged less than a point a game.


What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide

 I remember last season there were stats about how high in the league we’d be if only the first half of games counted. Annoyingly, this inconsistency has continued. Against Newcastle we were the better team in the first half and anonymous in the second. It’s baffling to watch. There also needs to be an improved performance from many players to help kick-start March. Many who excelled last season, have looked quite ordinary in the last few games. According to stats, Guzan to Benteke was the most frequent pass combination in the Newcastle game. There needs to be more creativity.


Why Villa have got this game in the bag

 It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find positives heading into Villa matches but we do have an impressive record against Lambert’s old club.

In fact, we’ve won three of the last four encounters in all competitions. Despite a good win against Spurs last Sunday, Norwich’s away form hints that there might be reasons to celebrate for Villa fans on Sunday night. Time is running out for Lambert to show strong signs of progress and a win at Villa Park this weekend is essential. UTV.


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