In a round of midweek fixtures in the Premier League, Tuesday night will feature a potentially feisty Midlands derby between Aston Villa and West Brom. Both teams have contrasting forms with West Brom enjoying resurgence under Tony Pulis but Villa are desperately struggling. Tim Sherwood has been bought in after the departure of Paul Lambert and will have to work some sort of magic if he is able to get his side out of this dangerous position.
Villa have now lost their last seven games in a row in the league, sandwiched by wins in the FA Cup, and cannot seem to catch a break at the moment. That run extends to ten games without a win and with only two points gained, ominous form for relegation candidates. Currently sitting in 19th place, they have the same number of points as QPR who are just outside the relegation positions but positive results are needed urgently if they are to stand any chance of survival at the end of the season.
Tony Pulis on the other hand has managed to transform a faltering West Brom side and has propelled them to 13 in the league after just one defeat in eight games. That run has including three wins and four draws but their recent form has been quite impressive, The Baggies last three games have yielded seven points and have managed to keep clean sheets in all those games. Their last result was a fantastic 1-0 win at home to Southampton and will hope for more of the same on Tuesday night.
Centre-backs Nathan Baker and Phillipe Senderos are still out injured and aren’t scheduled to make their returns for a fortnight. Aly Cissokho and Kieran Richardson are rated doubtful for midweek.
West Brom’s worries lie within their three strikers with Saido Berahino, Victor Anichebe and Brown Ideye who have all been suffering from knocks and are 50/50 for the game.
- Aston Villa have won just one of the last eight Barclays Premier League games against West Bromwich Albion (W1 D4 L3).
- Joleon Lescott has scored five Barclays Premier League goals against Aston Villa, making them by far his most favoured opponent in the top flight.
- Aston Villa have been shown more red cards than any other Premier League team this season (6).
- Aston Villa have scored just three goals in their last 12 Premier League matches.
- West Brom have kept five clean sheets in their seven Premier League matches under Tony Pulis.
League Head to Heads
2014/2015 Sat 13 Dec West Brom. 1 – 0 Aston Villa
2013/2014 Wed 29 Jan Aston Villa 4 – 3 West Brom.
2013/2014 Sat 25 Nov West Brom. 2 – 2 Aston Villa
2012/2013 Sat 19 Jan West Brom. 2 – 2 Aston Villa
2012/2013 Sun 30 Sep Aston Villa 1 – 1 West Brom.
2011/2012 Sat 28 Apr West Brom. 0 – 0 Aston Villa
2011/2012 Sat 22 Oct Aston Villa 1 – 2 West Brom.
Aston Villa: Scott Sinclair
Scott Sinclair has already made an impact since moving from Man City in January and although Premier League results haven’t improved of late, he does give Villa the pace and width they have been so desperately craving for. Sherwood has had to take over a side that is clearly lacking in the final third with goals at a premium but with Sinclair and fellow new addition Carles Gil could add an extra dimension from an attacking viewpoint. Sinclair has notched goals against Midland rivals Leicester in the FA Cup and Stoke in the league, can he do it again against West Brom?
WBA: Saido Berahino
Young starlet Berahino has had another upturn in form which was capped off with a fantastic strike in only the second minute against Southampton which turned out to be the winner. Much was made of Berahino’s attitude after he was quoted saying that he was ready to move to a bigger club in the near future and manager Tony Pulis was far from happy, questioning the 21-year-old’s outside influences. Since then however, Berahino has been back to his best, having scored in each of the Baggies last three home games in all competitions and will look to take this form across to Villa Park in midweek.
Villa are due a win I feel and I have a sneaky feeling that West Brom will be the victims and a much needed home win against their nearest rivals is sure to lift the Villa fans spirits after a turbulent few months.
My Prediction – Villa 2-0 West Brom
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