Gary McAllister fills in once more for the Villans in the absence of Gerard Houllier, and comes up against Roy Hodgson's rejuvenated Baggies, who have lost just once in eight
|West Brom (4-5-1)
Carson; Reid, Meite, Olsson, Shorey; Brunt, Mulumbu, Scharner, Cox, Thomas; Odemwingie.
Steven Reid and Scott Carson are both doubts but will start if they can prove their fitness, while Simon Cox is likely to come in for James Morrison following his wonder strike against Tottenham Hotspur last week.
|Aston Villa (4-3-3)
Friedel; L Young, Dunne, Collins, Walker; Downing, Petrov, Reo-Coker; Agbonlahor, Bent, A Young.
Gary McAllister will continue to take over first-team duties in the absence of hospitalized boss Gerard Houllier, who is rumored to be preparing for a life away from soccer on doctor's advice. Emile Heskey is likely to make way for Gabriel Agbonlahor up front.
- Since Roy Hodgson's appointment, West Brom has been beaten only once in the league. That was its last game at the Hawthorns, which ended in a 3-1 defeat to Chelsea.
- A win for hosts would give them at least a six-point gap to the drop zone with nine points left to play for. For the visitors, three points would give them a seven-point margin to the relegation zone.
- Peter Odemwingie is the Baggies' top scorer with 13 goals in his maiden season in English football, leading to interest from European giants Juventus.
- West Brom is bottom of the Premier League's halftime table, having gone into the break in a leading position on just five occasions.
- Aston Villa front man Darren Bent (pictured right) is the top scoring Englishman in the Premier League this season, with 15 goals.
- Scott Carson has kept just one clean sheet this season, the worst record of any goalkeeper in the top flight.
- Baggies captain Chris Brunt is level with Andrey Arshavin, Leighton Baines, and Wayne Rooney with 11 Premier League assists, the fourth best in the league. Villa's Ashley Young is one behind on 10.
- The two sides have met each other 133 times in the league, with Villa being successful 63 times to West Brom's 43.