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VILLA PREVIEW

28 February 2014

Facts & stats ahead of our trip to Villa Park

ASTON VILLA v NORWICH CITY
Barclays Premier League
16.30 kick-off
Villa Park
Sunday, March 2, 2014

AFTER differing results for both sides last weekend, Norwich City and Aston Villa sit level on points in the Premier League table heading into their meeting on Sunday afternoon.

While the Canaries battled to a brilliant win over Tottenham Hotspur thanks to Robert Snodgrass’ goal early in the second half, Villa suffered heartbreak as Loic Remy struck in stoppage time to condemn them to defeat against Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

They are now four games without a win, and have only won three times at Villa Park this season – but they did beat City 1-0 at Carrow Road earlier in the campaign.

It’s the Birmingham club who lead the overall head-to-head record too, with 28 wins to Norwich’s 17. There have been 16 draws, including the one in this fixture last season.

That day, Christian Benteke put the Villans in front before Michael Turner levelled ten minutes from time for Chris Hughton’s side.

MOST RECENT COMPETITIVE MEETINGS…
NORWICH CITY 0-1 Aston Villa 21/09/2013 – Premier League
NORWICH CITY 1-2 Aston Villa 04/05/2013 – Premier League
NORWICH CITY 1-4 Aston Villa 11/12/2012 – Capital One Cup Quarter-Final
Aston Villa 1-1 NORWICH CITY 27/10/2012 – Premier League
NORWICH CITY 2-0 Aston Villa 13/05/2012 – Premier League



LAST TIME AROUND… Norwich City 0-1 Aston Villa, September 21 2013 – Premier League…

Libor Kozak’s strike on the half hour mark proved enough to earn Aston Villa all three points when the two sides met at Carrow Road back in September.

The Czech international netted his first goal for Paul Lambert’s side in a game where the Canaries will have felt hard done by after coming out of it at the final whistle with no reward.

Robert Snodgrass had a penalty saved by Brad Guzan in the opening exchanges, while Ricky van Wolfswinkel and debutant Gary Hooper also came within a whisker of getting City on the scoresheet.

The result left Norwich in 17th place in the table after five matches.

Chris Hughton commented afterwards: "On occasions when we haven't deserved to get anything we have been quick to put our hands up.

"I don't think that was the case against Aston Villa. On the balance of play we created good chances and we added an offensive endeavour to our play. The result does not reflect our performance.

"What we didn't have at the end of it was a bit of quality, fortune and guile to get us the goal we deserved."

VILLANS’ FORM…
L – 0-1 v Newcastle United (A) 23/02/2014 – Premier League
D – 0-0 v Cardiff City (A) 11/02/2014 – Premier League
L – 0-2 v West Ham United (H) 08/02/2014 – Premier League
L – 1-2 v Everton (A) 01/02/2014 – Premier League
W – 4-3 v West Bromwich Albion (H) 29/01/2014 – Premier League

CANARIES’ FORM…
W – 1-0 v Tottenham Hotspur (H) 23/02/2014 – Premier League
L – 0-2 v West Ham United (A) 11/02/2014 – Premier League
D – 0-0 v Manchester City (H) 08/02/2014 – Premier League
L – 1-2 v Cardiff City (A) 01/02/2014 – Premier League
D – 0-0 v Newcastle United (H) 28/01/2014 – Premier League

LAST ASTON VILLA XI (4-3-3 v Newcastle United)…
Brad Guzan; Leandro Bacuna, Ron Vlaar (c), Nathan Baker, Ryan Bertrand; Karim El-Ahmadi, Ashley Westwood, Fabian Delph; Andreas Weimann, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke.

LAST NORWICH CITY XI (4-2-3-1 v Tottenham Hotspur)…
John Ruddy; Russell Martin, Joseph Yobo, Sebastien Bassong (c), Martin Olsson; Alexander Tettey, Bradley Johnson; Robert Snodgrass, Leroy Fer, Nathan Redmond; Ricky van Wolfswinkel.



REFEREE – Anthony Taylor…

The Canaries have had mixed fortunes in the two games that Cheshire official Anthony Taylor has refereed so far this season.

He was in charge when Chris Hughton’s men secured an excellent 1-0 win away at Stoke City in September through Jonny Howson’s first half goal.

However, Taylor was also the referee when City were beaten 5-1 by Liverpool at Anfield on December 4.

This weekend’s game represents Taylor’s 24th of the season, with his most recent assignment coming in the Championship last weekend as he oversaw Middlesbrough’s 0-0 draw with Leeds United at the Riverside Stadium.

So far, he has given out 79 yellow cards and three red cards in those games, with one of the dismissal’s being that of Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal against Aston Villa on the first day of the campaign.

BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES (all games at 15.00 on Saturday unless stated otherwise)…
Everton v West Ham United
Fulham v Chelsea
Hull City v Newcastle United
Stoke City v Arsenal
Southampton v Liverpool (17.30)
ASTON VILLA v NORWICH CITY (Sunday, 16.30)
Swansea City v Crystal Palace (Sunday, 16.30)
Tottenham Hotspur v Cardiff City (Sunday, 16.30)

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