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Premier League

  • 30 September 2012
  • • 16:00
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: A. Taylor
  • • Attendance: 34489
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Aston Villa - West Brom Preview: Lambert looking to exploit Baggies' defensive crisis

Aston Villa - West Brom Preview: Lambert looking to exploit Baggies' defensive crisis

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The Villans' manager is looking to build on a fine 4-2 League Cup win at Manchester City on Wednesday night by putting Steve Clarke's injury-laden defence to the sword on Sunday

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

ASTON VILLA

Guzan
Lichaj, Vlaar, Dunne, Lowton
N'Zogbia, Bannan, El Ahmadi, Holman
Agbonlahor, Bent

WEST BROM

Foster
Jones, Olsson, McAuley, Tamas
Mulumbu, Yacob
Fortune, Gera, Brunt
Lukaku

Richard Dunne (groin) is scheduled to make his comeback for Aston Villa on Sunday, although Stephen Ireland (wrist) will miss out after Paul Lambert revealed he had broken a bone, ruling him out for a number of weeks.
 
Craig Gardner (anterior cruciate ligament) remains out of contention until May 2013, and there is still no return date for Stiliyan Petrov, who has been suffering from leukaemia.
 
Peter Odemwingie misses this game for the Baggies as part of his three-match suspension for being sent off against Fulham, with Romelu Kulaku or Shane Long likely to take a position up front as a result.
 
James Morrison (knock) and Stephen Reid (hamstring) are likely to miss out for the visitors, while Liam Ridgewell (calf) and Goran Popov (groin) mean West Brom could be facing a defensive crisis.
 
Midfielder Jerome Thomas (knee) is also out until next weekend's visit to Swansea at the earliest.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Aston Villa have won 42 of the 74 meetings between the sides at Villa Park.
  • West Brom have good recent form against Villa winning two of the last three meetings, with the other being a draw.
  • Aston Villa's biggest ever losing margin came against West Brom, losing 7-0 at home in 1935.
  • Both teams' highest ever scoring draw was when the sides battled to a 4-4 draw in 1934.
  • West Brom's highest scoring loss came against Aston Villa, losing 6-3 at home to the Villans in 1893.
  • Aston Villa have scored five goals in five league games this season, with five different scorers.
  • Romelu Lukaku (pictured) is the Baggies' leading scorer in the Premier League this season, notching two goals so far.
  • The Baggies have taken 10 points from their opening five games and sit in fourth position, their best start to top-flight a season in 58 years.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Bradley GuzanGoalkeeper
4Ron VlaarDefender
6Ciaran ClarkDefender
3Joseph BennettDefender
34Matthew LowtonDefender
8Karim El AhmadiMidfielder
12Marc AlbrightonMidfielder
14Brett HolmanMidfielder
16Fabian DelphMidfielder
11Gabriel AgbonlahorStriker
20C. BentekeStriker
31Shay GivenGoalkeeper
43Eric LichajDefender
-Charles N'ZogbiaMidfielder
15Ashley WestwoodMidfielder
46Barry BannanMidfielder
39Darren BentStriker
10Andreas WeimannStriker
1Ben FosterGoalkeeper
3Jonas OlssonDefender
4Goran PopovDefender
23Gareth McAuleyDefender
28Billy JonesDefender
5Claudio YacobMidfielder
7James MorrisonMidfielder
11Chris BruntMidfielder
21Youssouf MulumbuMidfielder
22Zoltán GeraMidfielder
21Shane LongStriker
19Luke DanielsGoalkeeper
-Sebastien Gabriel TamaşDefender
17Graham DorransMidfielder
9Markus RosenbergStriker
11Yassine El GhanassyStriker
18Romelu LukakuStriker
28Marc-Antoine FortuneStriker
Players to Watch
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 11
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The English forward has struggled for games this season, but shone with two strikes against Manchester City on Wednesday. When in such fine form, there are few defenders in the league that can cope with Agbonlahor's explosive pace and eye for goal, and Lambert will be hoping that the 25-year-old can finally buckle down and fulfil his potential. A great bet for a goal against a shaky Baggies defence.
Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 18
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Chelsea loan signing looked sharp against Liverpool in midweek, always eager to get in to goalscoring positions and take on the burden of creating chances for himself. With a good supply from midfield, his strength and pace will be vital in leading the line away from home, and his height could prove the difference from set-pieces.
Prediction
Paul Lambert's side started brightly against Southampton last Saturday but faded badly, but a great 4-2 victory at Manchester City in the League Cup on Wednesday, will give them renewed confidence. However, the hosts could struggle for possession with Stephen Ireland out injured. Despite going out of the League Cup to Liverpool's youngsters on Wednesday, Steve Clarke's side played some impressive football and have been in good form this season, but injuries at the back could stretch them to breaking point.
Editor's Prediction

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