Match Preview: Norwich -v- Aston Villa – Early opportunity for Smith, with 5th place the prize.

After a home debut performance that featured phases of great promise for Dean Smith, Villa now face a sterner away midweek test in the form of Norwich.

What we hope is that Smith can build upon the win over Swansea, bringing together the inception of an actual style of play, with a focus upon being clinical in front of goal.

It also represents an sudden opportunity for the new coaching regime to not only gain some traction in the league, but also make a statement of intent.

Norwich might not have been the obvious candidates for promotion, but they have quietly built momentum in a league that is yet to have runaway leaders.  Thus, they remain below the radar, quietly stalking into 6th.

If Villa’s new team were to secure victories over two of the more able footballing sides in the division, it would bring rise for cautious optimism, especially with Villa having failed to pick up points against the divisions strugglers under Bruce.

Given the managerial change at Villa Park, the mixed fortunes against Swansea, and Norwich’s rise, this looks to be an unpredictable encounter.  Hopefully we can use the lift of Smith in our favour, implement his footballing style to greater effect and take our chances in front of goal.

Indeed, the latter could provide us with a real opportunity to steal the points at Carrow Road, which would represent a fantastic start to the former Brentford and Walsall boss’ tenure.

KEY FACTS

  • Villa have not won in 6 away games across all competitions.
  • Dean Smith hadn’t won in 5 away games this term (Brentford).
  • John McGinn is suspended – and will represent a big loss in the middle.
  • Norwich have beaten Villa 3x at home consecutively.
  • Hosts have won 7 of their last 10 games in all competitions.
  • Villa could rise as high at 5th with a victory.
  • On the other hand, defeat could see us fall as low as 18th.
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