Aston Villa at Norwich: Preview, some stats and odds on the win

It's that time again and why does it feel so long since the last time? And it's almost the perfect start to the weekend as we're the early game. It means the whole weekend is ours to be happy after.

And I've written that I think we'll win above because well, that's the flavour at the moment. renewed optimism, despite the wake up call against Newcastle.

And is it wrong of me to just accept that with all the new players it is going to take us time to play like Swansea?

Against Liverpool, they were very impressive and even though it was against ten men for the majority of the match last night, they were quite impressive again. Is it wrong that I'm looking at Swansea for the way we should be playing?

Early team news

One thing we know for sure about the team tomorrow; Jores Okore won't be playing after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament. Chances are he wont play for the rest of the season and it's a horrible way to start your career.

Upside is, he is young and the chances of coming back stronger are very good. In his place will be Baker or Clark, not sure which one yet, but I'm a fan of both although I do think Clark will one day be a better midfielder.

Baker isn't afraid to put himself in the firing line and while my first impression of him is limping off early, don't ask why, given a run of 90 minutes, I've got a feeling he'll do really well for us.


And Norwich, like Newcastle last week, are for the taking. They've played four and have four points. A win for us would see us double our points and would give everyone a fresh feeling of hope. Anything but a win would reignite that feeling of doom.

It's not about 'these are the games we should be winning' if we don't win, it's about starting to hope that it all starts to click a lot sooner than it did last season. And we have to go out to win this game.

And that is different to sitting back and countering, although I suspect that will be how we win most of our games this season, it's about controlling the game, keeping hold of the ball and moving up with players moving and not doing anything silly.

And we all know we can do this. Which is why it's about hoping it doesn't take as long as it did last season. And that is why it's about it not taking any time next season.

Stats thanks to the BBC

  • We've gone 26 league games without a clean sheet, the longest current run in the top flight. We also conceded a Premier League club record 69 goals last season.
  • We are the only team to have conceded the opening goal in all four of their Premier League fixtures to date this season.
  • We are the only top-flight club to earn more points away (21) than at home (20) last season.
  • Christian Benteke has scored 18 Premier League goals in 2013, more than any other player in the division.
  • Paul Lambert won 70 of his 142 matches in charge of Norwich between August 2009 and May 2012, drawing 35 and losing 37.

Prediction and odds

I think we can win. I'm not entirely sure we will. I hope we do so the rest of my weekend is a nice one but PaddyPower think it will be Norwich, they're the favourites at 11/8 while right now you'll get 2/1 on us.

2/1 is a good price and you can get it here. But I'd be cautious. I'm not betting on us this weekend which will be the first time this season. If we win, I'll not bet again on us this season, even when we play teams that we really should spank and even though, today, I can't name one of them.

Back tomorrow morning.