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THE INSIDE TRACK: ASTON VILLA

12 December 2016

Our guide to The Villans

NORWICH City host Aston Villa on Tuesday, December 13 (7:45pm) in the Sky Bet Championship.

Here we take a look at what City will come up against at Carrow Road.

IN THE DUGOUT
Steve Bruce was appointed as Aston Villa boss in October following the departure of Roberto di Matteo, with the team then 19th in the Sky Bet Championship.

Despite not losing often prior to his arrival, Villa's struggles were down to a lack of victories, something which has been addressed in recent times.

Chalking up five league wins in nine matches, such improvements have seen the midlands side climb the table to currently occupy 13th place while sitting four points off the play-offs.


Bruce has a reputation for getting teams promoted to the top-flight, having done so as recently as last season while in charge of Hull City.

He left The Tigers in the summer with uncertainty hanging over the club in terms of ownership, shortly after being interviewed for the England job which eventually went to Sam Allardyce.

A defender during his playing days, the now 55-year-old enjoyed a highly successful spell at Norwich between 1984 and 1987, forming part of the City side which won the Milk Cup in 1985.

IN THE PRESS
Match-winner Jack Grealish is targeting more goals after registering his third goal of the Sky Bet Championship against Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

The attack-minded midfielder settled a tight game late on, netting superbly to secure a 1-0 victory which made it four straight home triumphs for Steve Bruce's side.

"To do it at Villa Park, and so late on, is just a brilliant feeling," he told avfc.co.uk after the match.


"It’s my best goal too. I got the ball out of my feet and thought 'let's give it a go'. I did and luckily it went in.

"The gaffer wants me to get more goals. He's been telling that over the past few weeks and that's what I plan to do."

ONE TO WATCH
After a steady start to life at Villa Park, former Bristol City striker Jonathan Kodjia is beginning to find his feet in claret and blue.

A total of 20 goals in 48 appearances across all competitions for the Robins last term prompted Villa to make their move late in the summer transfer window, landing the forward for a reported £11m.

By that stage Kodjia had already played four times for City, including against the Canaries at Carrow Road back in August.



He netted in his second game for Villa against Brentford, but would have to wait another five matches before adding to his tally.

Since then, the Ivory Coast international had gradually become more prolific, scoring six times in seven outings in October and November.

Combing pace and power, Kodjia is rated among the most dangerous strikers in the division.

IN THE SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Pierluigi Gollini, Jed Steer, Mark Bunn.

Defenders: Nathan Baker, Michah Richards, Tommy Elphick (c), James Chester, Alan Hutton, Jordan Amavi, Ritchie de Laet, Aly Cissokho.

Midfielders: Leandro Bacuna, Aaron Tshibola, Ashley Westwood, Andre Green, Gary Gardner, Mile Jedinak, Albert Adomah, Jordan Lyden, Jack Grealish.

Forwards: Jordan Ayew, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Rudy Gestede, Libor Kozak, Jonathan Kodjia, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, Ross McCormack.



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