Johan Elmander is on loan to Norwich from Galatasaray. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA
Norwich will be looking to extend its unbeaten home record for the 2013/14 season to four matches when it welcomes Aston Villa to Carrow Road on Saturday night (AEST). Since holding Everton to a draw on the opening day of the season, the Canaries have beaten Bury in the League Cup at home, as well as scoring a 1-0 victory over Southampton.
Manager Chris Hughton has virtually a full squad to choose from for the first time this season, with long-term absentee Elliott Bennett the only player unavailable. New recruit Gary Hooper could make his debut up front after recovering from a shin injury that has sidelined him since joining from Celtic. Only two sides scored fewer goals that the Canaries in the Premier League last season and the addition of Hooper is expected to solve some of the problems in front of goal, although on-loan forward Johan Elmander already has two goals during the current campaign.
Aston Villa has been dealt a cruel blow just weeks into the new season, with Danish defender Jores Okore set to face up to nine months on the sidelines with an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Ciaran Clark or Nathan Baker is expected to partner captain Ron Vlaar in the heart of the defence, although Clark may get the nod with Baker returning from injury himself. The Villans stunned Arsenal at the Emirates on the opening day of the season but have lost their following three fixtures, suffering a 1-2 reverse at the hands of Newcastle last weekend. Striker Christian Benteke has scored four of the clubs five League goals during the current campaign and will again lead the line.
Villa visited Carrow Road twice last season and won on both occasions, with a 4-1 League Cup success in December followed up with a 2-1 League victory in May. That defeat is the only one that Norwich has suffered in 11 League fixtures this year and was just their second home defeat in 14 league matches at Carrow Road against the Villans.
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