STARTING XIs: No Grealish for Villa as hosts make five changes but City stick with same line-up

Max Aarons starts his 41st consecutive game for Norwich this afternoon, having been substituted just

Max Aarons starts his 41st consecutive game for Norwich this afternoon, having been substituted just once during that impressive run Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City have named an unchanged team as they look to seal the title at Aston Villa but the play-off bound hosts have made five changes and rested key players.

Head coach Daniel Farke sticks with the starting XI which beat Blackburn 2-1 at Carrow Road on Saturday to seal promotion, with the in-form Mario Vrancic continuing in central midfield alongside Kenny McLean.

The leaders are unbeaten in 13 matches and know a draw will seal the Championship title, but if a defeat combines with Sheffield United winning at Stoke, it’s the Blades who will be lifting the Championship trophy courtesy of a better goal difference.

Villa go into the game with thoughts firmly on their play-off campaign and their final league position settled at fifth position, so are taking no risks with key players, with star man Jack Grealish left out totally.

Scotland international midfielder John McGinn is on 14 yellow cards so misses out to ensure he doesn’t pick up a 15th and activate a three-game ban, while 25-goal top scorer Tammy Abraham misses a third game on the spin, due to a shoulder injury for the Chelsea loanee.


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Dutch international forward Anwar El Ghazi is available after having a red card rescinded following last weekend’s chaotic 1-1 draw at Leeds, with Patrick Bamford subsequently banned for deceiving the referee having gone down as if he was struck, but is only on the bench.

Canaries academy product Jed Steer, who has played a key role in a 12-game unbeaten run since coming back into the Villa team, has overcome a foot injury to face his former club.

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Former Canaries loanee Henri Lansbury comes into midfield, with veteran defender Alan Hutton and the fit-again Kortney Hause coming into defence in place of Ahmed Elmohamady and Bournemouth loanee Tyrone Mings.

Glenn Whelan comes into midfield in place of McGinn and Lansbury for Grealish, with Albert Adomah replacing El Ghazi in attack.

NORWICH: Krul; Aarons, Zimmermann (C), Godfrey, Lewis; Vrancic, McLean; Buendia, Stiepermann, Hernandez; Pukki. Subs: McGovern (GK), Hanley, Klose, Tettey, Leitner, Cantwell, Rhodes

VILLA: Steer; Hutton (C), Tuanzebe, Hause, Taylor; Whelan, Hourihane, Lansbury; Adomah, Green, Kodjia. Subs: Kalinic (GK), Elphick, Elmohamady, El Ghazi, Jedinak, Bjarnasson, Davis

REFEREE: Peter Bankes (Merseyside)

• You can follow all the action, analysis and reaction from Villa Park in our Matchday Live blog at pinkun.com/live

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