Aston Villa-Norwich City Preview

TOM BENNETT (STATS European Football Writer)
The Associated Press

Norwich City and Aston Villa will both be searching for their second wins of the season when they meet at Carrow Road on Saturday.

Chris Hughton's Norwich (1-1-2) brought in a host of new faces over the summer, but have struggled to find their form in the early weeks of the season. A 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur last weekend was not unexpected, but the nature of the display has led some to question the Canaries' Premier League credentials.

"It is always a concern when you are not playing how you would like," admitted Hughton. "We couldn't break down Hull with ten men, albeit we certainly had more chances and more play in the final third than we did at Tottenham. We have to keep the Spurs game in perspective because they are going to be challenging. They will be right up at the top of the league and they had a good day.

"My role at the club is to assess the group and see where we can improve. We need to be better in possession and if that is the case we can work the ball further up the park and create more opportunities in and around the opposition penalty area."

Aston Villa (1-0-3) stunned Arsenal on the opening weekend of the season, but a tricky run of fixtures following that victory has resulted in a three-match losing streak - dropping points against Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle. Despite the disappointing results, manager Paul Lambert is happy with his team's performances and has urged them to not to become disheartened.

"You pick yourself up and go again, it's how you come back from it - that's the important thing," said Lambert. "The key is whenever you lose a game, make sure you bounce back. That's what we've got to do.

"We will get them in, pick them up and go again. We're only four games into the season so there's a long, long way to go. You pick them up and go again against Norwich."

Norwich's injury absentees include Ryan and Elliott Bennett, both of whom have knee problems. Villa have doubts over Charles N'Zogbia (shin), while Jores Okore is out for the season with torn knee ligaments.

Villa had the edge over the Canaries last season, winning this fixture 2-1 and also running out 4-1 victors in a League Cup tie at the ground. The meeting at Villa Park ended 1-1. Andreas Weimann bagged an impressive personal haul of two goals and two assists in those matches.

Norwich have lost just one of their last 11 home games in the Premier League, but that came to Villa back in May. The Canaries have kept five clean sheets and conceded just nine goal in those games. However, Hughton's side have managed just one goal in their last 289 minutes of league football.