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  • 11 December 2010
  • • 15:00
  • • Villa Park, Birmingham
  • Referee: M. Halsey
  • • Attendance: 36745
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Aston Villa - West Bromwich Albion Preview: Ashley Young returns for hosts, whilst Baggies sweat on fitness of Odemwingie and Brunt

Aston Villa - West Bromwich Albion Preview: Ashley Young returns for hosts, whilst Baggies sweat on fitness of Odemwingie and Brunt

TEAM NEWS

Aston Villa


Gerard Houllier welcomes back Ashley Young following his one match suspension for the game against Liverpool. The Villa boss could also have midfielder Barry Bannan available again after struggling with a recent groin injury.

Emile Heskey is expected to be available again, Nigel Reo-Coker is still a doubt with a knee injury but could feature on the bench, while full-back Habib Beye is also a doubt with an injury.

Villa are definitely without four midfielders for the visit of the Baggies. Marc Albrighton is suffering from appendicitis, Steve Sidwell has an Achilles problem, while Stilian Petrov and Fabian Delph are both suffering with knee injuries.

Possible starting XI: Friedel; L Young, Collins, Dunne, Warnock; Bannan, Clark; Downing, Pires, A Young; Agbonlahor.

West Bromwich Albion

West Brom come into this game in high spirits following their 3-1 victory over Newcastle but boss Roberto Di Matteo has injury concerns over Peter Odemwingie and Chris Brunt. The Italian hopes to be able to name an unchanged line-up for this West Midlands clash.

Youssuf Mulumbu is available again following his suspension after his sending off against Everton but Di Matteo is unlikely to change a winning side.

Possible starting XI: Carson; Jara, Scharner, Tamas, Cech; Tchoyi, Brunt; Thomas, Dorrans, Morrison; Odemwingie.

Contrasting form means contrasting confidence

Villa have had no win in five matches in league and cup, have lost their last four games and have only won once in their last 10 league matches. However, their home form will be a comfort to them seeing as they have only lost once at Villa Park this season.

After their latest defeat, against Liverpool, Villa find themselves just two points above the relegation zone in 16th position and the pressure is on Houllier.

In contrast, West Brom have won their last two Premier League matches, are currently sitting in 8th position in the table and will be looking to secure their third impressive away win of the season after beating Arsenal and Everton.

Despite their victories at the Emirates and Goodison, the Baggies’ away form is not great, they have lost four of their eight games this season, including defeats at Wigan and Blackpool.

Baggies aiming to end 31-year drought

Villa have a much better record in this West Midlands derby with 73 wins in the 154 matches, with West Brom only managing 50 victories. In their last meeting in the 2008-09 season, Villa were victorious in both matches between the sides, winning 2-1 at both Villa Park and The Hawthorns.

The Baggies have never beaten Villa in the Premier League in eight attempts, losing four and drawing four. And the omens are not good for Di Matteo’s men as Villa Park is a ground they have not won at in the league since 1979.

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Players to watch

A. Young

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The forward returns to the Villa side following his suspension and he will be looking to come back and inspire them to victory. He has scored four goals in the league this season, all at Villa Park, and has created four as well.

P. Odemwingie

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The Nigerian striker has scored six goals this season in 11 appearances, but the majority have come at the Hawthorns, so he will be aiming to build on the brace he scored against Newcastle and fire his side to three points.

Editor's Prediction

A tough match to call given Villa’s struggles in the league recently and West Brom’s average away form, however the momentum is with the Baggies following their win over Newcastle and another impressive away victory could be on the cards for Roberto Di Matteo’s side.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Aston Villa

West Bromwich Albion

Wins
1
3
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
Aston Villa FC Aston Villa
Draw
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
West Bromwich Albion FC West Bromwich Albion
62%
18%
20%

Top 3 Predictions

Aston Villa FC AST
2 - 1
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
Aston Villa FC AST
2 - 0
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
Aston Villa FC AST
1 - 0
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA

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