By Lewis Rymond
When a journalist asked Paul Lambert about Villa’s goalscoring record after the Stoke game he was asked by the manager if he had “swallowed a negative book”. Returning to Carrow Road on Tuesday for a League Cup clash against his former club, he might have to brace himself for more pages from the negative book from the Norwich fans resentful of his swift exit. Lambert’s first visit of his past stomping ground since leaving, at this stage in the League Cup, has all the makings of an epic encounter. Forget the talk of Lambert suing his ex-club and instead prepare to enjoy what should be a memorable match.
Match Difficulty Grade
B Chris Hughton has settled rather well into his new managerial role and has used his expertise to pick up where Norwich left off last season. The Canaries come into this match with the sort of momentum that Villa haven’t quite managed just yet. They couldn’t beat 10-man Villa though in October and Lambert will surely be in the mood to make a statement at his former club.
Form is Temporary
Current form table (last six games) – Norwich – 3rd / Villa –14th
Norwich: Last five matches at home: W 4, L 1
Aston Villa: Last five matches away: W 1, D 1, L 3
Last time Villa visited Carrow Road in recent Premier League history, they lost 2-0.
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Norwich have taken 11 points from the last 15 available and have gone 10 games without losing. They’ve had no problem finding the back of the next and have racked up 9 goals in their last 5 games. In stark contrast, Villa have only managed to score twice in their last 5 matches. Norwich will be raring to go and put on a good performance at home, for it is their first appearance in the quarter-finals since 1995-96.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
During the Swansea home game a few weeks back, Villa out-Swansea’d Swansea with their nifty passing. Similarly, during the Stoke game on Saturday Villa out-Stoke’d the Potters with their brick wall defending. Aston Villa have only conceded once in their last 4 matches so Norwich could face a challenge in their attempts to breach the Villa defence. Especially if it is held together by the return of captain Ron Vlaar. However, we need to see more of our players score. Holman was rewarded for his adventurous strike at Loftus Road, so who’s next? Bannan is due a goal; sooner rather than later one of his long-range efforts will pay off. We need goals! Rather than focus on the media slant of the match, we must concentrate on winning and adapt the approach of Paul Lambert who told journalists “it’s not something I’m actually too fazed about.” Goals please!
Why Villa are Totally 100% Going to Win
Villa are going to win for a crucial reason – the stats are on our side. Villa have been successful in 13 of their last 19 quarter-final encounters, and besides, the Villans were the first team to win the League Cup, it’s pretty much our turn this year! Historically, we have done quite well in away fixtures in the League Cup; in the last six years Villa have only lost away to, erm, Alex McLeish’s Birmingham. It should not be forgotten that Aston Villa have won all four previous League Cup ties against Norwich, including the final in 1975. We cannot lose.
The Stoke draw was predictable, for this game it might be a case of heart vs head. Insurance bet on a Norwich win? MOMS has arranged a deal with Paddy Power where if you spend £10 on bets after opening an account, you’ll get a free £20 bet – click here to take advantage. It’s better than normal offers where they just offer you the same amount you bet free. Here you get 200% free.
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