We’ve got a West Midlands derby today! It should be one cracker of a match as well. Aston Villa played well against Liverpool in their previous Premier League game, while West Brom played their first game under Pepe Mel. Mel’s team managed to bag a point against Everton. Both teams are in similar positions in the Premier League table and both teams will want to win this one. West Brom, under Mel will mostly be playing possession football. Lots of passing and trying to break the opposition down. While Villa will aim to play on the counter as well as having their midfield push the game to the oppositions halve. Agbonlahor played superbly against Liverpool and it’s looking as though he’ll miss this game tonight through an injury sustained against Liverpool. His pace will surely be missed especially against West Brom who have, in general slow defenders. Grant Holt will likely start up front.
Aston Villa managed to tie against West Brom in the earlier season fixture with Villa coming back from 2-0 to tie 2-2. Westwood and El Ahmadi scored the goals for Villa that day. While, now Hull-striker Shane Long scored a brace for West Brom.
Liam Ridgewell will be playing against his former club tonight. Ridgewell was at Aston Villa for 7 years and made 79 appearances for Villa scoring 7 goals. He moved to rivals Birmingham in 2007 for £2 million. He was the first player, since Des Bremmer (moved in 1984) to transfer between the bitter rivals.
Gabriel Agbonlahor is a doubt and will likely miss the game against West Brom. But there is good news, Nathan Baker is now available following a concussion obtained against Arsenal.
West Brom will be without Stephane Sessegnon who underwent a groin injury, he’ll be out for a month. Whilst Gareth McAuley and Goran Popov are available following hamstring and neck injuries.
- Aston Villa have committed more fouls than any other team in the Barclays Premier League (294).
- West Brom have conceded a higher proportion of long range goals (28%) than any other side this season in the Barclays Premier League.
- 55% of the goals Aston Villa have conceded this season have been shipped in the first half; the highest proportion in the league this season.
- Villa have scored just eight goals at Villa Park this season, fewer than any other team on home soil in the top flight.
- Aston Villa have currently won 299 Barclays Premier League games
Aston Villa 2-0 West Brom
Surely Villa will win this one? The reason why Lambert is under pressure isn’t because Villa are in a poor position, it’s their home form. If Lambert can find a way to win games at home, Villa will be on the up and the pressure would ease on the manager. Having said that, I reckon Villa will win. Without Agbonlahor it will be more difficult, but if Holt is going to play, he’s going to need some service out wide. Who better to get that from than Bacuna and/or Albrighton? I expect a heated contest and I hope it’ll be a very good game.