Both teams go into this Midlands derby on the back of midweek wins in the FA Cup. West Brom sealed their place in the fourth round with a 1-0 at Bristol City while Villa struck for two late goals to overcome League Two’s Wycombe. After last season’s FA Cup quarterfinal, where the Villa and Baggie fans clashed, this encounter is firing up to be a classic.
Saido Berahino, who scored in the 1-0 win back in September, has recovered from a stomach bug, and England goalkeeper Ben Foster is in line to make is first appearance of the season. This is welcome news after West Brom manager Tony, who informed the press this week that James Morrison will be out for up to eight weeks.
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Aston Villa will run a late fitness test on Carlos Sanchez. The Colombian has been out with an hamstring injury for a number of weeks. Captain Gabby Agbonlahor, Alan Hutton, Adama Toure and Jordan Amavi remain sidelined.
Pulis’s side will be hoping to bounce back after their 3-0 thrashing at Southampton, and Villa will be looking to build on their four-game unbeaten run.
West Brom have the added incentive of hammering a further nail into Villa’s relegation coffin and sending their rivals one step closer to The Championship, something Baggies fans would cherish.
Aston Villa need three points and nothing less to keep up to their relegation rivals. Time seems to be running out for Remi Garde’s men, but a win away at their rivals could spark the greatest of escapes.
Both teams will be going for the win. Expect goals.
Players to watch
Solomon Rondon: The Venezuelan stiker has had a stuttering start to his career at The Hawthorns. The £12 million price tagh as been a burden and applied unwanted pressure to his game, but after scoring the winner midweek in the Cup, the striker will be confident of breaking the Villa back line.
Mark Bunn: The Villa goalkeeper has been picked ahead of Brad Guzan for the last 4 games and looked more at home then the USA international ever did. His confidence is sky high after the penalty save from Rayed Mahrez last weekend, and another big performance is needed if Villa are to walk away with three points.
West Bromwich Albion
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