WBA v Villa Preview - Crunch Local Derby
West Brom v Aston Villa Preview - Villa Looking to Climb out of the Bottom three
West Bromwich Albion v Aston Villa
English Premier League
The Hawthorns, West Bromwich
Saturday 19 January, 2013
Aston Villa have a chance to climb out of the Premier League`s bottom three when they travel to West Brom this Saturday. The Baggies are looking to leapfrog Arsenal in the table and into sixth place.
West Brom have been one of the most solid teams at home this season which will give them a great deal of confidence. They have secured seven wins, one draw and three defeats conceding only nine goals which is the joint best home record with Manchester City.
Injuries and Suspensions
Zoltan Gera is facing a long spell on the sidelines arranging his football accessories and not much else, having been ruled out for the season with a knee problem. Steven Reid is also out with a leg injury while Youssuf Mulumbu is away at the Africa Cup of Nations. Marc-Antoine Fortune and Shane Long are both carrying leg injuries and both rated as 50/50 for the match. Jonas Olsson should be fit but Claudio Yacob is set to miss out with a hamstring problem.
Villa have struggled away from home this season, not producing the sort of results they expect. Points have been taken from two wins and three draws but the club has lost all other matches. They have scored only nine goals while conceding 26 which is the worst away record in the Premier League.
Injuries and Suspensions
Villa are plagued by injuries with Stiliyan Petrov out battling cancer. Marc Albrighton is doubtful with a foot problem, Darren Bent will not play with a slight knee injury, Gary Gardner and Chris Herd will also miss the match with similar problems. Joe Bennett has been ill and is rated 50/50, Richard Dunne is back in action but lacks match fitness and Shay Given has a hamstring problem. Karim El Ahmadi is away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Morocco.
West Brom v Aston Villa Statistics
West Brom currently sit seventh in the table with 33 points having maintained their good early season form. Their current record reads ten wins, three draws and nine defeats. They have complimented their defence well with 17 goals scored which is the same as Tottenham and Everton.
Villa have not been taking the ratio of points from matches they would like with only four wins, seven draws and 11 defeats. The overwhelming stat which has to change is the 42 goals the club have conceded so far both home and away. Villa have managed to score just 17 goals in response.
Head to Head: There have been 78 meetings between these sides at the home ground of West Brom. Villa can take confidence from the fact there isn`t too much difference with their 27 wins to West Brom`s 32. A total of 19 games have ended in draws. This was a 0-0 draw last season with the sides trading 2-1 wins in the previous two seasons before that.
West Brom have not made a good start to 2013, losing both of their league matches so far. They were also poor in December with two wins, one draw and three defeats which will give Villa confidence.
Villa have a slightly better record in January with a draw and a defeat from two games. They were inconsistent in December with a win, two draws and three defeats including an 8-0 loss away to Chelsea.
West Brom v Aston Villa Prediction
West Brom`s poor recent form should inspire Aston Villa to dig in for at least a point. They could find it tough considering the players they are missing but there is no reason why they can`t snatch a point if they setup with the right tactics and system.
West Brom 1-1 Aston Villa.