Aston Villa V Norwich at Villa Park - Match Preview


Villa midfielder Barry Bannan is available after a club suspension for their home Barclays Premier League clash with Norwich.

The Scotland international was not considered for the 2-2 draw at Sunderland while Villa held an internal inquiry after his arrest on suspicion of drink driving.

On-loan Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas is also available after recovering from thigh and calf problems and returning to full training. Full-back Eric Lichaj (hip) is Villa's only injury casualty.

Boss Alex McLeish wants Villa to discover a winning mentality after being frustrated at their start during his first season in charge.

Villa, who host Norwich on Saturday, are lying in mid-table and remained unbeaten in the Barclays Premier League until early October.

But McLeish believes Villa have thrown points away in a repeat of last season when they surrendered 25 from winning positions in games.

He said: "I am pleased with the improvement in the squad and the group and I do believe some can improve even further.

"But I am a bit frustrated with the league table. I think we should be four points better off, at least.

"That's down to that ruthlessness and mental toughness to see things through and get that strength to go over the line in certain moments.

"I think there have been a lot of good performances collectively and individually. Last weekend was as good as I have seen us this season.

"I want the guys to have a real winning mentality. I want them to go to the end every game, every week and we also want to attack teams but it's not a compromise between attack and defend.

"There has been a 50-50 measure. We want to be equally good defensively. Teams that don't lose goals are normally the teams that triumph in the end."

Norwich have no fresh injury worries.

Captain Grant Holt is pressing for a recall after again coming off the bench last weekend to score when he levelled with a stoppage-time penalty against Blackburn.

Centre-back Zak Whitbread continues his recovery from a hamstring injury. Striker James Vaughan, defenders Elliott Ward and Daniel Ayala (all knee) are long-term absentees.

Despite having performed well at Chelsea and Manchester United, while winning at Bolton, boss Paul Lambert maintains there will be no thoughts of getting an easy ride at Villa Park.

"Going to Villa Park will be a great experience for ourselves. The stadium is lovely, they have a vibrant fanbase as well and a new manager," said the Norwich manager, who could name an unchanged side for the seventh consecutive match.

"It is a tough, tough game - but as I have said before we are playing well enough to win."

Source: DSG