Norwich v Aston Villa preview: Micah Richards set to return
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 28/12/15 3:04pm
Micah Richards is set to feature for Aston Villa as they look for their first win in 17 Premier League games at Norwich on Monday afternoon.
Remi Garde's side came from behind to nab a point against West ham on Boxing Day, their second league draw in succession, but remain four points adrift of 19th-placed Sunderland at the foot of the table.
Norwich sit just outside the relegation zone on goal difference, level on points with 18th-place Newcastle, following their 3-0 defeat to Tottenham on Boxing Day.
Norwich duo Wes Hoolahan and Gary O'Neil are expected to return for Monday's clash at Carrow Road. The duo were rested for the defeat to Tottenham on Boxing Day, while Andre Wisdom is hoping to overcome a hamstring strain.
Matt Jarvis is close to recovering from a knee injury, but the game against Aston Villa is likely to come too soon for the 29-year-old.
Carlos Sanchez, meanwhile, misses out for Villa with a hamstring injury sustained in Saturday's 1-1 draw against West Ham. He will be assessed ahead of the weekend's trip to Sunderland but will not make the trip to Norfolk.
Richards is close to a return from a knee injury and the skipper could feature at Carrow Road, while Jordan Amavi (knee) is a long-term absentee.
Norwich have scored in all but two of their 27 league meetings with Aston Villa at home.
Gabriel Agbonlahor has had a hand in six goals (three goals, three assists) in six Premier League appearances against Norwich.
The Canaries have not won their final league game in a calendar year since 2010; losing in 2014, 2013 and 2012 and drawing in 2011.
Aston Villa have won just three of their last 12 Premier League games against newly-promoted opposition (D3 L6).
The Canaries have netted just four goals in their last five Premier League games at Carrow Road, three of which have been scored from corners.
Since winning away at Bournemouth on the opening day of the season, Aston Villa have picked up just two points in eight Premier League away games (D2 L6).
Norwich is not an easy place to go! Aston Villa could have been as good as down with defeat at home to West Ham on Saturday, but at least they managed to save a draw. If they had lost to the Hammers and then to Norwich that would surely have been it, but they're still alive.
You are talking about winning 10 games between now and the end of the season and not even Manchester United will do that! I can't see Remi Garde's side getting anything so I'm going for a 2-1 home win.
PAUL PREDICTS: 2-1 (15/2 with Sky Bet)
Sky Bet rate Norwich as the 11/10 favourites with Aston Villa 13/5 for a vital win at Carrow Road, while the draw is priced at 23/10. Remi Garde's men head into the clash as 1/12 favourites for relegation while the Canaries are fourth in the betting at 2/1 to face the drop.