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Villa v Norwich match preview: No distractions for focused Lambert
Dan Harrison looks ahead to the Canaries clash.
26th Oct 2012
Villa v Norwich match preview: No distractions for focused Lambert


By Dan Harrison

There are no prizes for guessing the line of questioning Paul Lambert was faced with in this week's pre-match press conference.

But Lambert has insisted all along that he is more interested in picking up points than making one.

The Villa boss has avoided getting wrapped up in the hype surrounding a first encounter with his former club since he left Norwich for the claret and blues in the summer.

Asked about the significance of the Saturday lunchtime reunion with his former employers, he replied: "It is a massive game for ourselves and we have to win. That is the bottom line.

"I've not viewed it as anything other than another game that we are going to try and win.

"I've enjoyed every game I've had since I've been at this club. It's no different for me.

"People will look at it and think 'it's Norwich and the time he had there' but that's not something I've thought about to be honest.

"We're at home and we've been playing well enough to go and win, that is the big thing."

It has been nearly a month since Villa's last outing in front of the home faithful.

In that time, Lambert's side have come away pointless from two road trips despite performances that deserved much more.

But the Scotsman has never been one to dwell on what came before and instead he is keen to highlight the positives from those defeats at Tottenham and Fulham.

Safe to say there will be no trepidation going into the Norwich fixture.

"The pleasing thing for me is that we have been playing pretty decent," he said. 

"We haven't gone into any game with any trepidation, we've tried to win them.

"In the last two away games I think we've certainly deserved more than we've got.

"Obviously we didn't score against Tottenham or Fulham but the chances have been there.

"We have to have a work ethic in our game as well to create the chances. But I'm pretty sure it will come.

"We played well against Swansea and West Brom too. The only game that upset me was Everton. We're not far away."

Norwich will also feel that their performances so far this term have warranted more points.

Chris Hughton recorded his first league victory in the Canaries hotseat last weekend - a 1-0 triumph over Arsenal.

Having worked with most of the players Villa will come up against on Saturday, Lambert knows first hand the level of the away team's commitment.

"To beat any big side is a huge achievement," said Lambert.

"Chris is a good manager. There's been some games where Norwich have been unlucky to get more points as well.

"It was a massive result for them against Arsenal. One thing you can never label them is lack of effort.

"The crowd will come in their numbers because they have terrific following that go and watch them.

"Chris is a really good guy. I've met him a few times. He is a really top manager and it is his team now so he has to mould them the way he sees is best for Norwich.

"Likewise I have to do what I think is best for Aston Villa."

MATCH INFO

Match: Villa v Norwich
Competition: Barclays Premier League
Venue: Villa Park
Date: Sunday October 27 - KO 12.45pm
Referee: Phil Dowd

AVTV DON'T MISS

Lambert Press Conference - click here
Pre-Match Show - click here
Memory Match - click here

TEAM NEWS

Ciaran Clark [knee] and Nathan Baker [ankle] are both doubtful for Villa.

Long-term casualty Richard Dunne is still out with a groin problem so Matt Lowton could shift across from right-back to central defence.

Norwich boss Chris Hughton has no fresh injury concerns ahead of his side's visit to B6.

However, former Rangers full-back Steven Whittaker is still out with an ankle injury.

TICKETS

There is a terrific 4-for-£44 offer available for this game.

That means you can buy four tickets in the North Stand Upper for £44 [two adults and two juniors].

Standard ticket prices for the game are £23 to £42 [adults], £22 to £40 [concessions], £15 to £40 [U16s], £10 to £40 [U8s], £33 to £38 [adult/junior combo].

GENTING BETTING GUIDE

Bent to score first and Villa to win 3-1 - 50/1
Time of first goal 40-51 mins - 15/2
Draw - 9/4
Villa win 2-1 - 7/1
Draw half-time/Villa full-time - 9/2
Agbonlahor to score first - 6/1 
Click here for FAQs on betting.

Don't forget, if you win your bet, cash payment is available after the game from the North Stand payout office, which is open an hour after the game finishes.

However you are also able collect your winnings online via www.gentingcasino.com/villaclaim.

Good luck and let's hope for a great result!

COLOURS

Villa will be wearing their home kit of claret and blue.

LAST TIME OUT

Villa 3-2 Norwich
November 5, 2011
Bent [30, 62], Agbonlahor [48]; Pilkington [25], Morison [77]

MATCH STATS

Villa have been unbeaten at home in this fixture since November 1992 when Norwich earned a 3-2 success at Villa Park.

Gabby Agbonlahor's last league goal came in the 3-2 win over Norwich on November 5 last year.

Paul Lambert won 70 of his 142 matches in charge of Norwich between August 2009 and May 2012, drawing 35 and losing 37.

Grant Holt has scored in Norwich's last three league matches.

Michael Turner could make his 300th career league appearance, and Elliott Bennett his 200th.

Match Centre

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