A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League games

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is already under pressure after a poor start.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is already under pressure after a poor start. Photo: PA

Aston Villa **v **Norwich

Position: 17th

Form:WLDLL

Odds:

Aston Villa - 10/11

Draw - 5/2

Norwich - 3/1

Injuries:

Baker (ankle), Clark (knee), Gardner (ACL), Dunne (groin)

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert will face his former club Norwich City for the first time since his controversial summer departure.

Lambert is under some pressure after yet another poor start for Villa who have just five points from eight games and find themselves just a point outside the relegation zone.

Some of the football we are playing at the moment is pleasing, it's not like we're struggling all over the park, we're playing some really decent football. There are miles to go, country miles to go but we do need to start turning these performances into wins.

– Paul Lambert, Aston Villa manager

Lambert is struggling in defence with 13 goals conceded already and a number of key players out with long term injuries.

There are also concerns up front about what are Villa's best strike force with Darren Bent, Christian Benteke and Gabriel Agbonlahor all failing to cement a place in the starting line-up.

After last weekend's heart-breaking defeat to Man City, Shane Long (left) and WBA will hope to return to their recent good form.
After last weekend's heart-breaking defeat to Man City, Shane Long (left) and WBA will hope to return to their recent good form. Credit: PA

Newcastle v West Brom

Position:

6th

Form:

LWDWL

Odds:

Newcastle - 1/1

Draw - 12/5

West Brom - 11/4

Injuries:

Thomas (illness), Jones (knee), Brunt (hamstring), Myhill (wrist), Reid (hamstring)

Despite last weekend's heartbreaking defeat to Premier League champions Man City, West Brom have started the season excellently and still find themselves comfortably in the top-half of the table.

West Brom have looked strong in all areas in the pitch, particularly up front where they have occasionally struggled in the past. Players such as Romelu Lukaku and Shane Long have added extra dimensions to an attack already featuring the pace of Peter Odemwingie.

We’ve filled all the slots we planned to [in the summer] and, short of any injuries or fantastic offers on players we’re prepared to listen to, I can’t really see us doing an awful lot in January.

– Dan Ashworth, WBA sporting and technical director

West Brom have not been as strong away from home but they will hope to capitalise on a Newcastle side having to balance their home duties with Europa League games.

Despite losing at Man Utd last weekend Stoke played well enough to take some positives
Despite losing at Man Utd last weekend Stoke played well enough to take some positives Credit: PA

*Stoke *v Sunderland

Position:

13th

Form:

DLWDL

Odds:

Stoke - 1/1

Draw - 12/5

Sunderland - 11/4

Injuries:

Whelan (hamstring)

Once again, Stoke have been impressive at home. They have not lost there this season and have conceded just one goal.

This early run is even more impressive considering four of their first eight games have been against last season's top four.

Disappointingly for them, all four goals they conceded in last week's 4-2 defeat at Man Utd came from crosses.

We knew it was going to be difficult, but to concede four goals from four crosses was disappointing and hard to take.

– Charlie Adam, Stoke

Peter Crouch has been in excellent form for the Potters, but he needs some support from the likes of Michael Owen who has yet to score for the club.

Everything will be down to what we think is right for the team. It won't be down to the individual. The most important thing is that we get him [Michael Owen] to a level of fitness so if or when he does start he gets through it and onto the next game. I'm not saying he's going to be an impact player. I'm hoping he will play a big part but we have to get him fit first.

– Tony Pulis, Stoke manager