Preview: Aston Villa vs Norwich City, injury updates and Holt set to shine?

A look at Sunday's clash as Paul Lambert welcomes his former side to Villa Park.

The relegation threatened pair have built an unlikely rivalry over the past few years after Paul Lambert left the Norfolk club to join Aston Villa.

Chris Hughton's men will be in bullish mood after beating Tottenham last time out and will look to secure their first back to back win in the league this season.

Norwich City head to the Midlands without influential midfielder Leroy Fer as he is set to miss out due to an hamstring injury. Fer will be a big loss for the Canaries, but Hughton remained optimistic about his options;

"As much as it is a disappointment for Leroy it is an opportunity for someone else.

We have a competitive squad at the moment. Not just with Jonny coming back, but Alex (Tettey) and Wes (Hoolahan) is another option. We have players coming back to fitness and that is why you want that. Michael Turner, Elliott Bennett and Jonas Gutierrez are still out but Ryan Bennett is back now fit and that is a real plus for us.” 

The Canaries may have to face former club captain, Grant Holt, at the the weekend for the first time since he left the club in the summer.

Paul Lambert, who gave Holt the armband at Norwich, is yet to be beaten by his former side, winning three of the four encounters. In fact, Norwich haven't won at Villa Park in five attempts, but will remain quietly confident travelling to a side who hold the joint record for fewest home wins this season.

Lambert played down any feud between the two clubs, after it was reported that Norwich weren't happy with his attempt to sign Wes Hoolahan. This was following an earlier issue between the two clubs over the summer over Jed Steer's switch to Villa Park.  

 "Circumstances dictate certain things and it's gone now, I don't look back on it. What happened, happened. I don't hold any grudge against Norwich City.

"I had a great three years there and the players deserve all the credit for what we achieved. For me, Sunday is just another game and if you end up prioritising you fall flat on your face.

"It's a game we'll try to win and we could do with one after losing so late at Newcastle last weekend. But there's no extra motivation for me to win just because it's Norwich." Lambert explained at his press conference.

Ashley Westwood has recovered from a deg leg, from last weekend's loss against Newcastle United, to make Lambert's squad. Also, Aston Villa can welcome back Ryan Bertrand, the Chelsea loanee, is back in contention following a virus. 

HITC's prediction: Aston VIlla 1 - Norwich City 1

image: © ell brown

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