2021-22 Premier League: Week 17 – Norwich vs Aston Villa

Dean Smith’s Norwich City welcome his former team – Aston Villa to Carrow Road in a midweek Premier League clash.

Victory would lift Norwich off the foot of the table until Wednesday evening, whereas Villa can go as high as eighth with a win.

 

Team News

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Brandon Williams is set to return for Norwich after being ineligible to feature in Saturday’s defeat to Manchester United, as per terms of his loan deal from the Red Devils.

Ben Gibson (thigh) is a doubt but Dean Smith is hopeful that he will be available for bench at minimum.

Christos Tzolis (Coronavirus), Grant Hanley (shoulder), Andrew Omobamidele (back), Christoph Zimmerman (ankle), Sam Byram (fitness), Mathias Normann (pelvis) and Milot Rashica (groin) remain absent.

Aston Villa will be without Marvelous Nakamba due to a knee injury suffered in Saturday’s defeat at Liverpool.

Bertrand Traore (thigh) and Leon Bailey (hamstring) remain absent.

 

Stat Attack

  • Norwich have won just one of their last seven Premier League meetings against Aston Villa (W1, L6).
  • Aston Villa have won three of their last five Premier League visits to Carrow Road (W3, L2).
  • Villa missed their only previous penalty kick against Norwich in 18 Premier League meetings.
  • No Norwich player has made more blocks in the league this season than Grant Hanley, who has created 16 blocks in 15 appearances.
  • Ollie Watkins has been caught offside more times than any other Villa player this season in Premier League, having strayed offside on seven separate occasions.

 

Prediction

Aside from that disappointing loss at Tottenham, Norwich have made solid progress because they were defensively solid against an aggressive Utd on Saturday, although a mixture of a silly foul and awful finishing proved costly so patience now looks their main issue.

Villa were simply outplayed at Liverpool on Saturday but they looked disciplined in defence with excellent blocks and great saves, whilst playing well when able to get on the attack on limited occasions.

Both teams though were undone in their defeats by silly fouls so discipline will be key here, yet Villa should be able to come here looking to impose their style given Norwich’s defensive vulnerability, so I am expecting a close scrap.

Prediction: Norwich 1-1 Aston Villa

Result: Norwich 0-2 Aston Villa

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