Aston Villa predicted XI vs Norwich: Trezeguet could return & Nakamba may be key

Aston Villa face a tough trip to Norwich as the search for their first away win in the Premier League this season continues.

Dean Smith’s side have struggled so far with only one top flight win and that has partly been due to the inconsistency in his team selection, although he does appear to have narrowed in on his preferred starting XI.

John McGinn impressed many with his performance against Burnley last time out, and Conor Hourihane playing alongside him allowed Jack Grealish more freedom in attack, with the Irishman also unlucky to see a first-half assist ruled out for offside.

Midfield could prove to be very important for Villa once again.

They enjoyed a lot of the ball against the Clarets but Norwich promise to be a different proposition, having had the majority of the ball in the league games they’ve played in 2019/20.

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Daniel Farke’s side have looked impressive at Carrow Road, beating Newcastle and Manchester City whilst showing confidence and ability on the ball that could allow them to play the ball around with ease.

However, they have looked vulnerable in defence at times, and with the likes of McGinn and Anwar El Ghazi taking up goalscoring positions of late, the visitors could find a breakthrough.

Here is how they could line-up against Norwich on Saturday.

The Canaries may have lost all of their away matches but they have scored eight in three games at home, and therefore an improved defensive performance is needed from the Villans.

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Marvelous Nakamba is central to that, and if he performs to the level he has shown this season then his side should have some joy.

He has made a great start to his Premier League career with an average of 4.7 tackles per game, and his handling of players like Todd Cantwell and Emiliano Buendia could be pivotal.

The pair have a combined total of six assists and have been instrumental in the success of six-goal Teemu Pukki – the one player Villa must watch out for.

In order to do so, Mings and Engels will need to organise the defence better than they have done so far, with 11 goals conceded from seven matches.

Frederic Guilbert will need to step up too, as he could drop out for Elmohamady if he fails to stop crosses coming into the box, as he did for Jay Rodriguez’s goals last weekend.

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One player who may consider himself unfortunate to miss out is Hourihane. His energy and pass accuracy of 92% was important in Villa having as much possession as they did against Burnley, and he could be involved if Smith decides to play Grealish out wide once again.

However, Trezeguet made an immediate impact when he was brought on in the last match, assisting McGinn with a well-picked out cross and also enjoying a pass success rate of 100%, so he is deserving of a return to the starting line-up.

Article title: Aston Villa predicted XI vs Norwich: Trezeguet could return & Nakamba may be key

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