Competition: Premier League – Aston Villa vs West Bromwich Albion
Venue: Villa Park – Tuesday, March 3rd – 19:45 GMT (14:45 ET)
Match Odds: Aston Villa 7/5 – Draw 11/5 – West Brom 2/1
Aston Villa take on West Bromwich Albion in the West Midlands Derby on Tuesday night with both sides still stuck in the bottom half of the Premier League table, as they have been for much of the season.
The local rivals will also face each other on Saturday in the FA Cup but all attention will currently be on Tuesday’s key clash.
The Baggies will be hoping to do the double over their rivals after their 1-0 win at the Hawthorns back in December, with former Villain Craig Gardner netting the winner on that day.
Villa are without a win in 12 Premier League games whereas West Brom have lost just one in their last eight. The Villains have now lost seven straight and are the worst side in the league when it comes to recent form.
Aston Villa’s Premier League home record: Played 13 – Won 2 – Drawn 5 – Lost 6
Tim Sherwood is still looking to win his first Premier League game as Aston Villa head coach and Saturday’s away defeat to Newcastle only increases pressure ahead of this one as Villa desperately look to escape relegation.
Fortunes may not have changed for Villa despite a managerial change, but they certainly have for West Brom since Tony Pulis took over from previous head coach Alan Irvine. A home win for the Baggies against Southampton on Saturday has further strengthened their case for Premier League survival this season and they now sit in 13th, eight points clear of the drop zone.
West Brom’s Premier League away record: Played 13 – Won 2 – Drawn 6 – Lost 5
Both managers will be taking part in their first West Midlands Derby but it’s the home side, Aston Villa who need all three points more than their opposition.
Villa’s next few games will see them play against teams around them in the relegation battle as they look to climb out of the bottom three. They are second from bottom and their poor goal difference means they need points on the board.
A win for West Brom in this one could see them elevate into 12th, swapping places with Pulis’ former club Crystal Palace.
Aston Villa still have a few defensive injuries as Aly Cissokho and Kieran Richardson are not expected back until the weekend, while Nathan Baker and Philippe Senderos aren’t due back until March 14. Ron Vlaar could return after his recent calf strain and will face a late fitness test. Libor Kozak and Chris Herd remain out with long-term injuries.
Tony Pulis will be sweating over the fitness of key strikers Saido Berahino and Brown Ideye, who face late fitness tests after both picking up small knocks at the weekend, and West Brom will be hoping both are fit for the game as they have been key to their recent revival.
Aston Villa’s last five in the Premier League: L/L/L/L/L
West Brom’s last five in the Premier League: L/D/W/D/W
Key Stat: West Brom have not completed a league double over Aston Villa since the 1973/1974 season when the clubs played in the second tier of English football.
Key Player: Saido Berahino – West Brom’s young English striker has been excelling since Tony Pulis’ arrival in January and is expected to make an impact against Aston Villa so long as he passes a late fitness test.
Aston Villa 1-3 West Brom – The Baggies to pile the misery on their West Midlands rivals with another victory. Villa just simply don’t look good enough and need a miracle if they are to survive relegation.