Aston Villa are once again back in Premier League action this evening when they take on West Midlands rivals, West Bromwich Albion at Villa Park. West Brom will be looking to build on their recent upturn in form to give themselves some hope in Premier League survival.
Sam Allardyce’s men have picked up seven points from a possible fifteen in their last five Premier League games. Three of those came in their thrilling 5-2 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Villa on the other hand have really struggled for form for some time now. Four points in the same amount of time but the worrying thing is how much the performance levels have dropped. Something doesn’t seem right in and around the squad at the moment but I can’t quite put my finger on it.
Dean Smith’s stubbiness to not change a system (4-3-3) that isn’t working doesn’t appear to be helping but there’s more to it than that for me. As I touched upon, the performance levels have massively dropped and you can’t put it all down to Jack Grealish’s absence.
I do worry about the form and how it could affect the start of next season if we don’t turn it around. Winning breeds confidence and right now we aren’t doing that. Today feels like a bigger game than it should be for more reasons than one.
West Brom have picked up 42% of their points on the road this season, while 45% of Villa’s have come at Villa Park. The goals conceded would back up that Villa have been better on the road this campaign also with a massive 60% of them being conceded at home.
Aston Villa will be without the suspended Matt Cash following his silly sending off in the 1-2 defeat to Manchester City in mid-week.
Villa are still without Jack Grealish while Trezegeuet had a successful operation this week and he begins his long journey back to full fitness.
Decisions will have to be made on Ahmed Elmohammady and Anwar El Ghazi who are both fasting. Wesley could be named in the squad for the first time in over 12 months.
West Brom only have one injured at the moment. Former Chelsea defender currently has a thigh injury and is expected to miss the rest of the season.
Referee: Stuart Attwell.
Assistants: Dan Cook, Neil Davies. Fourth official: Anthony Taylor. VAR: Martin Atkinson. Assistant VAR: Timothy Wood.
DID YOU KNOW
Only Juan Pablo Angel (9) has scored more goals on a Sunday in a single Premier League season than Ollie Watkins (7) this season.
Awar El Ghazi has scored more goals (4) against West Brom than any other team since moving to England.
A win for West Brom would make it three wins in a row at Villa Park in League football (excluding Playoffs) for the first time since 1902.
It’s very hard to make a prediction right now. West Brom are in a no-loss situation. Most had already given up hope on their Premier League survival but recent form has given them a glimmer of home.
Villa have been dreadful for a while and the injuries are starting to build up. If we stick with the rigid 4-3-3 then I can’t see how we get anything tonight. I am hoping that Smith tinkers with the system a little to try and help us return to winning ways.
Aston Villa 2-1 West Brom