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    Norwich City v Aston Villa: A Christmas Cracker at Carrow Road


    Norwich City entertain Aston Villa on Monday afternoon in a Christmas cracker of a game between two sides fighting for survival. The Canaries were dealt a knockout blow by Spurs on Boxing Day, whilst Aston Villa clawed themselves a point against West Ham.

    Alex Neil will be disappointed with the manner of defeat against Spurs, particularly after they performed so well against Manchester United the weekend before. That victory at Old Trafford was their first since the start of November and they have picked up just five points from their last six matches.


    Remi Garde and Aston Villa are desperate for three points. They are languishing at the foot of the table with a mediocre eight points and without a victory since the opening day of the season against Bournemouth. The draw against West Ham was their second in a row, but only their fifth point in their previous seventeen Premier League outings.

    Norwich have only kept one clean sheet all season, but will fancy their chances of a second against the least prolific strike force in the Premier League. Rudy Gestede has disappointed with just three goals, whilst Scott Sinclair and Jordan Ayew have seven of Villa's 12 other Premier League goals between them. Yet Norwich have goalscoring problems of their own, with Nathan Redmond leading the way with four goals, despite struggling for form in recent weeks. 


    However history is in favour of the visitors. Aston Villa have won five of their last seven Premier League meetings with Norwich, winning 1-0 the last time they met at Carrow Road two seasons ago. The Canaries will be hoping for just a second win from their last 14 meetings with Villa.

    The hosts could welcome Andre Wisdom back to the squad as he continues his recovery from a hamstring injury. Recent permanent signing Matt Jarvis will definitely still be unavailable with a knee injury. Aston Villa will be without Jordan Amavi, whilst Micah Richards and Gary Gardner face late fitness tests on knee injuries. Carlos Sanchez picked up a foot injury against West Ham but should be available for selection.


    Key Players:
    Wes Hoolahan- the Irish playmaker missed out on Saturday against Spurs, but is likely to be selected as the creative force in the Norwich set up as the hosts look to win all three points. 

    Jordan Ayew- a rare bright spark in a dull Aston Villa side, the striker's penalty on Saturday was his fifth goal of the season as he continues to try and help Remi Garde's team fight for survival. 

    Chris Lincoln's Prediction: Norwich City 2-1 Aston Villa
    If Alex Neil can revitalise his team after Saturday's defeat to Spurs, the hosts will be more than capable of taking all three points against an Aston Villa team who will find it difficult to survive this season.
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    Item Reviewed: Norwich City v Aston Villa: A Christmas Cracker at Carrow Road Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Chris Lincoln
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