Premier League

May 4, 2013


Norwich City

1 - 2

Aston Villa

Premier League

14:00 +00:00, May 4, 2013

Carrow Road, England

Ruddy ready for Canaries return

Team Stat Comparison

Norwich City Aston Villa
Matches Played 38 38
Table Position 11 15
Points 44 41
Goal Difference -17 -22
Goals for * 1.3 1.3
Goals against * 1.1 2.2
Last 5 W-W-L-L-W D-L-W-W-L
Last 5 home W-L-W-D-D L-W-D-L-W
Last 5 away W-L-L-L-D D-W-L-W-W
*  Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club
Stats: Norwich City | Aston Villa

Competition Stats

Norwich City Aston Villa
Goals Grant Holt 8 Christian Benteke 19
Assists Robert Snodgrass 6
Yellows Bradley Johnson 10 Matthew Lowton 10
Reds Mark Bunn 1 Christian Benteke 1
Squads: Norwich City | Aston Villa

Next Matches

Norwich City Aston Villa
4/26 A: Manchester United 4/26 A: Swansea City
5/4 A: Chelsea 5/3 H: Hull City
5/11 H: Arsenal 5/7 A: Manchester City
5/11 A: Tottenham Hotspur

Goalkeeper John Ruddy is in contention to make his return for Norwich after five months out with a thigh injury in the Barclays Premier League game against Aston Villa.

Defender Sebastien Bassong has shaken off an ankle problem, but fellow centre-half Michael Turner (groin) is still sidelined.

Forward Kei Kamara plays the last match of his loan spell from Major League Soccer club Sporting Kansas City, and will return to the United States unless a permanent transfer is agreed.

Defender Sebastien Bassong will be ready to adapt himself again as he looks to shackle Aston Villa hitman Christian Benteke and help Norwich secure their top-flight status with victory.

Belgian frontman Benteke crashed in a hat-trick as Villa thumped Sunderland 6-1 on Monday night to move five points clear of the drop zone.

Norwich head into the showdown with former manager Paul Lambert on 38 points, and needing at least one more win from their final three games, two of which are at home, to avoid being dragged into a late scrap for survival.

Cameroon centre-back Bassong, who has shaken off an ankle problem, is relishing the duels ahead.

He said: "Benteke is a good player. There are a lot of good players in the Premier League and week in, week out we play against one or two great strikers, so Benteke is another one we have to deal with.

"If you're going to be a good defender you are going to have to play against all types of strikers.

"Benteke is big, but he is good with his feet. (Luis) Suarez is shorter, but he is quicker. They all have different strengths and I have to adapt myself.''

Aston Villa could be without defender Ciaran Clark and midfielder Karim El Ahmadi.

The pair missed Monday's 6-1 win over Sunderland, with Clark struggling with a foot injury and El Ahmadi a groin strain, and will be assessed ahead of the trip to Carrow Road.

Villa manager Paul Lambert has no other new headaches ahead of his return to his old club, with Richard Dunne, Marc Albrighton, Gary Gardner and Chris Herd all long-term absentees.

Lambert has played down the emotion surrounding his return and insisted he is fully focused on maintaining his side's recent good form.

The Scot enjoyed three hugely successful years at Carrow Road, guiding the Canaries to consecutive promotions and an impressive first season in the Barclays Premier League before leaving on acrimonious terms.

It marks his second return to Carrow Road since leaving, having beaten his old team 4-1 in the Capital One Cup earlier this season. And Lambert insists his links with the club will be far from his thoughts if Villa beat 14th-placed

Norwich and worsen their plight while boosting his own side's survival bid.

"I think if you get caught up in my connection there it deflects from the game,'' he said. "It's not about me going back there because I've been back already. I had three fabulous years there and took a team from League One, built it up, the crowd bought into it, the lads I worked with were fantastic.

"It's another game and I'm looking forward to going down there. I have fantastic memories there but it has gone.

"I'm looking forward to it because I had three really enjoyable years there that I don't think anyone would have seen coming.

"The players I worked with were fantastic and one or two are still there. I probably know them better than they know themselves, really.

"There's a few teams right in the relegation battle anyway. We know we've got a hard game there but we're certainly playing well enough. That's the big difference.

"My job is here. We have to win. If our fans are anything like they were for the cup game then we'll be taking a ferocious support down there. It will be a tough game but we're certainly playing well."