Villa are back on the road this weekend, trekking to East Anglia for a vital away clash against Norwich City.
LAST TIME OUT
Result: Aston Villa 2-2 Burnley
Villa had to settle for a point after twice leading through John McGinn and Anwar El Ghazi in an entertaining contest at Villa Park.
Clarets substitute Jay ‘Hand Of Rod‘ Rodriguez headed in the visitors first leveller, with Chris Wood nodding home Burnley’s second within a minute of John McGinn’s goal.
John McGinn has continued to earn the plaudits following his seamless step up from the championship to Premier League football.
And respected former BBC commentator Pat Murphy came up with a new one during the Burnley game, observing that the midfielder reminded him of a young Bryan Robson.
That’s praise indeed , particularly when you consider that Robson went on to become England’s “Captain Marvel“.
Maybe the same destiny awaits McGinn with his native Scotland?
Football: But not as we know it
VAR may be designed to ensure that correct decisions are always reached, but the new system has done Villa few favours so far.
That was evident from the boos which accompanied the regular pre- match video of Alan Shearer explaining how the system works.
And when John McGinn had his effort belatedly ruled out for an offside against Conor Hourihane, Holte Enders loudly voiced their opinion of VAR in no uncertain terms.
Norwich City did the double over Aston Villa in their Championship winning campaign last time out, but Dean Smith insists his new look Villa team will offer a sterner test this weekend.
The canaries won their away game 2-1 in only Smith’s second game in charge, as Villa embraced a new philosophy and style.
In the reverse fixture, John McGinn, Tyrone Mings and Jack Grealish were all rested as Villa down by the same scoreline (2-1) in the final game of the season as we readied ourselves for a successful play off campaign.
Smith recalls both encounters and is relishing the latest clash on Saturday.
He told AVTV:
Their manager hasn’t changed his philosophy and they haven’t changed their squad too much.
They will play a similar way to what they did which won them the league last season.
It”ll be an interesting game and one we’re really looking forward to.
My Prediction is that it will be a tough game away at Carrow Road but with the amount of players that Norwich have out I really fancy Villa to take advantage and take all three points away from our hosts.
Score: Norwich 0-2 Aston Villa – McGinn with both goals for Villa
Dan (Editor) Prediction:
Norwich’s squad are decimated by injuries, but many commentators seem fixated on their shock early season win over Manchester City. Further, The Canaries have lost a game more and shipped five more goals than Villa this term; facts that are cause for optimism.
From our point of view it’s a matter of being more ruthless. Two failed attempts to beat ten men (West Ham & Arsenal), along with a mixed performance against spoilers Burnely, result in Villa really needing to find a win. Norwich aren’t mugs, but equally they’re signficantly weakened going into the game, something that we need to take advantage of.
Score: Norwich 1-3 Aston Villa – Grealish, McGinn & El Ghazi to score.
- Norwich are down to their 3rd choice keeper due to injuries (Michael McGovern).
- Villa have yet to win away this season.
- Villa will rise above Norwich in the league with a victory.
- Jonathan Kodjia & James Chester remain unavailable for AVFC.
- Tyrone Mings & Matt Targett are match fit despite knocks last week.
- Henri Lansbury is also back in contention after missing the Burnely game.
- Top Scorers: Pukki (6 – Norwich) – McGinn (3 – Villa)
- Norwich have only lost once at home in 2019.
- Villa are on a ten game Premier League away losing streak.
- We’ve also won just one of the last 21 away from Villa Park (Bournemouth)
- But Norwich have beaten Villa just 2 times in 14 PL games.
- Dean Smith hasn’t lost to any side more than Norwich as a manager.
- John McGinn has 2 consecutive goals and 2 Man Of The Match performances.
- Villa have dropped eight points from winning positions this term.
- Sources: Guardian, Sky Sports & BBC.