Despite several positive Covid-19 cases at Bodymoor Heath this week, Aston Villa are set to visit former manager Dean Smith’s Norwich City on Tuesday evening.
First-team training was canceled on Sunday when one member of the squad received a positive Covid-19 test but, despite a second positive on Monday, Villa returned to training on Monday and appear ready to make the trip to Norwich.
Villa are fresh off a controversial 1-0 loss to Liverpool on Saturday in Steven Gerrard’s return to Anfield. A suspect penalty call on Tyrone Mings made way for Mohamed Salah’s 14th goal of the season and came minutes before the referee and the VAR opted against penalizing Liverpool’s Alisson for taking down Danny Ings in the box.
Gerrard replaced Smith as Villa manager last month and has won three of his first five matches with the club. Norwich are 1-2-2 in their five matches with Smith at the helm but have lost two-straight games.
Under Smith’s tutelage, Aston Villa earned promotion from the Championship, survived their first season in the top flight on the final day of the 2019-20 campaign, and finished 11th in 2020-21. After five consecutive losses, Smith was sacked in early November.
Villa won both meetings with Norwich in the Premier League in 2019-20: 5-1 at Carrow Road in October 2019, and 1-0 at Villa Park on Boxing Day.
Norwich City vs. Aston Villa team news
In addition to the two unnamed first-team members out with Covid-19, Gerrard will be without Marvelous Nakamba, who, as per the gaffer, “recently had an MRI scan which has confirmed a knee issue.”
Bertrand Traore and Leon Bailey are the only other Aston Villa players ruled out due to injury.
Norwich City’s Grant Hanley was injured at Manchester United over the weekend and is unavailable for Tuesday’s tilt.
Aston Villa projected Starting XI: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Sanson; Buendia, J. Ramsey; Watkins
Norwich City projected Starting XI: Krul; Aarons, Gibson, Giannoulis, Kabak, Placheta; Gilmour, Melou, Rupp; Pukki, Sargent
Date/time: Tuesday, December 14 at 7:45 PM BST/2:45 PM EST
Ground: Carrow Road
TV/Streaming UK: BT Sport 3
TV/Streaming US: Peacock