Aston Villa v Norwich City preview: Libor Kozak misses Canaries visit
By Richard Morgan
Last Updated: 06/02/16 3:42pm
Aston Villa will be without striker Libor Kozak when they host fellow strugglers Norwich City at Villa Park on Saturday.
The Czech Republic international has been ruled out for up to a month with a broken bone in his ankle and with Jordan Ayew also set to start a three-match ban after his sending-off against West Ham in midweek, Villa have only two fit forwards to face the Canaries.
However, Gabriel Agbonlahor has not scored for almost a year, while Scott Sinclair's last league goal came in August, and Villa must rely on that pair to claw back the 10-point gap to fourth-bottom Norwich.
Rudy Gestede is out with a hamstring injury and the frontman joins Kozak on the sidelines.
Ashley Westwood (calf) could return, but Carlos Sanchez (hamstring) and Adama Traore (foot) both remain out.
Meanwhile, Norwich midfielder Alex Tettey must serve a one-match ban for the trip to the west Midlands after the Norwegian collected his 10th yellow card in the midweek defeat to Tottenham.
Winger Robbie Brady is expected to be available again following illness, but midfielder Graham Dorrans is still struggling to shake off a bug.
Fellow midfielder Gary O'Neil has now completed a three-match suspension following his dismissal at Stoke, while striker Patrick Bamford will be in the squad for the first time since signing on loan from Chelsea ahead of the transfer deadline.
Villa are unbeaten in their last six competitive home games against Norwich (W3 D3) and defeated them 4-1 at Villa Park in their last meeting there.
Norwich have won just one of their last 11 Premier League away games (W1 D2 L8).
Villa have won just one of their last 12 Premier League games at Villa Park (W1 D4 L7), scoring just eight goals in that run.
Villa have claimed just seven points at home this season, at least five fewer than any other side in the Premier League.
Norwich have allowed more shots on target against them in 2016 than any other team (29).
Villa have 13 points after 24 Premier League games this season; each of the four teams to have previously won 14 points or fewer at this stage have ended the season in last place.
Norwich will be looking to win both home and away in a single Premier League season against Villa for the first time since 1992/93.
The Canaries are the only Premier League side yet to keep a clean sheet on the road this season.
Remi Garde's side haven't scored a first-half league goal since the start of December (Joleon Lescott against Southampton) and have now gone nine Premier League games without one.
Brady has created more chances than any other Norwich player this season (33), but has only assisted one goal.
What else is there to say about Villa? They haven't bought anybody in January, they're bottom of the league and their best player got sent off at West Ham and faces a suspension. Norwich, meanwhile, don't seem to be able to win a game as well, so this is a big match for them. If Norwich lose this they'll be in major trouble, despite bringing in fresh faces in January.
Sky Bet make bottom club Villa 11/8 favourites ahead of their clash with Norwich (2/1), with the draw a 9/4 shot. Villa remain 2/9 favourites to finish bottom, but four league defeats on the bounce has seen Norwich cut to 6/5 to take the plunge.
Fit-again Agbolahor is 9/4 to net anytime for the hosts, with Steven Naismith 7/1 to open the scoring. Check out tips from our Sky Sports pundits Jamie Redknapp, Charlie Nicholas, Phil Thompson and Matt Le Tissier here.