Villa chief has defensive worries
Paul Lambert is sweating on the fitness of defensive duo Nathan Baker and Ciaran Clark ahead of Aston Villa's home clash with Norwich.
The Villa boss, who will be going up against the team he left for the Midlands outfit during the summer for the first time on Saturday, is definitely without veteran central defender Richard Dunne because of a long-term groin injury. However, his replacement, Clark, is struggling to shake off a knee injury which forced him to miss last Saturday's 1-0 defeat at Fulham, while Baker, who replaced Clark at Craven Cottage, was forced off because of an ankle problem just after the hour mark. It means Lambert will give both players as long as possible before deciding who will partner skipper Ron Vlaar in the heart of the defence against the Canaries at Villa Park. Matt Lowton is on stand-by to switch into the centre with Eric Lichaj in contention to earn a recall as his replacement at right-back as Villa look to improve on a record of one win in 18 league games. Midfielder Brett Holman feels it is only a matter of time before Villa hit top gear and go on a winning run, which he hopes will start against Norwich. He told the club's website: "We've not been playing badly as a team. We have just been unlucky in my opinion. If we get that bit of luck, it will be exciting times ahead. "We are a really tight-knit group. The atmosphere in the dressing room is fantastic, even though results haven't gone our way so far."