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Premier League

  • 28 April 2012
  • • 15:00
  • • The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 25984
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West Brom - Aston Villa Preview: McLeish's relegation-threatened side loking for their first win in seven

With only three games left, the Villans are just three points off the drop zone and will be looking to beat their local rivals to stave off the prospect of Championship football

  PROBABLE LINEUP
WEST BROM

Foster
Jones, Olsson, McAuley, Ridgewell
 Brunt, Andrews, Mulumbu, Dorrans
Cox, Odemwingie
ASTON VILLA

Given
Hutton, Cuellar, Dunne, Warnock
Albrighton, Bannan, Herd, N'Zogbia
Heskey, Agbonlahor

Paul Scharner faces a scan to discover the full extent of the damage he sustained to his wrist in West Brom’s 1-0 win at Liverpool.

Meanwhile, the Baggies remain hopeful Marc-Antoine Fortune will recover from the hamstring problem that saw him miss the trip to Merseyside in time to face Villa, while Steven Reid (ankle), James Morrison and Zoltan Gera (both knee) are all unlikely to feature again this season.

Aston Villa's only long term absentee is Darren Bent who picked up an ankle injury in February that looks likely to end his campaign.

Gabriel Agbonlahor, who did not start against Bolton in midweek could feature at the Hawthorns, and Richard Dunne could return to the side after recovering from a dislocated shoulder. The game will probably come too early for Stephen Ireland (hamstring) and James Collins (groin), however

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Aston Villa will be looking for their first win since March 10 when they beat Fulham 1-0 thanks to a late Andreas Weimann goal.
  • The Villans have gone their last seven games in the Premier League without victory.
  • A win in this game would see West Brom reach a Premier League record 48 points.
  • The Villans have dropped the most points from winning positions of any team in the Premier League this season (20).
  • Alex McLeish has won just nine of his 39 competitive games in charge at Villa Park.
  • The last five encounters between these two sides have all ended with a 2-1 scoreline.
  • Roy Hodgson has won seven and lost just two of his 10 Premier League matches against Aston Villa.
  • Aston Villa still need to pick up six points from their remaining three games to avoid collecting their lowest tally of points in a PL season.
  • Peter Odemwingie's (pictured right) goal against Liverpool means that he is the first West Brom player to reach 25 Premier League strikes for the club.

Players to watch

S. Cox

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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The Irishman does not have an impressive goal record like strike partner Peter Odemwingie but the former Swindon man is vital to West Brom's style, dropping deep and linking play between the midfield and the Nigerian striker.

Likely to face a makeshift midfield, Cox's movement into spaces between the lines could unsettle a ramshackle-looking Villa line-up and give Odemwingie the space he needs to strike.

M. Albrighton

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

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After a superb debut campaign last season, Albrighton's form has mirrored Villa's this year and the young winger has tailed off under Alex McLeish.

The England Under-21 international has the undoubted quality to cause trouble to the best of defences however, and withthe aerially dominant Emile Heskey likely to feature, Albrighton may find himself become a vital cog in Villa's system, providing crosses for the veteran striker.

Editor's Prediction

The Villans have been limp and lifeless in recent weeks and look almsot helpless as they slip towards the bottom three. Roy Hodgson's Baggies on the other hand have been in good form and are looking to secure a top-ten finish and with it, their highest ever Premier league placing.

Form tends to go out the window in derby matches but West Brom should have enough about them to come out on top.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

West Bromwich Albion

Aston Villa

Wins
0
4
1
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
West Bromwich Albion FC West Bromwich Albion
Draw
Aston Villa FC AST
Aston Villa FC Aston Villa
40%
37%
23%

Top 3 Predictions

West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
8 - 8
Aston Villa FC AST
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
2 - 1
Aston Villa FC AST
West Bromwich Albion FC WBA
1 - 2
Aston Villa FC AST

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