Villa v West Brom preview
Holman expected to return; Baggies facing full-back crisis
Last Updated: September 30, 2012 1:25pm
Paul Lambert: The Villa manager will want to build on the cup win at Manchester City
Midlands derby foes Aston Villa and West Bromwich Albion renew their rivalry on Sunday afternoon when the home side will be looking to find some consistency.
Villa's win over Swansea City in mid-September was their first of the Premier League season under Paul Lambert and was thought to be the start of a resurgence.
But they then suffered a miserable 4-1 defeat by a Southampton side who had previously been without a point in what was a wretched performance.
Villa, though, bounced back with their midweek upset of Manchester City in the Capital One Cup and so Lambert and fans will want to discover some regularity in results.
In contrast, 10 points after five games is West Brom's best start to a Premier League season in their history.
Steve Clarke has enjoyed his first job in management since succeeding Roy Hodgson at The Hawthorns but they did lose to Liverpool in the League Cup on Wednesday.
Aston Villa winger Brett Holman has recovered from a knee injury after missing the win at Manchester City.
Midfielder Stephen Ireland is again ruled out with the cracked bone in his wrist suffered at Southampton, although he should be fit after the forthcoming international break.
Full-back Joe Bennett picked up a knock to his leg at the Etihad Stadium and will be assessed by the Villa medical staff before any decision is taken on his fitness.
West Brom are facing a potential full-back crisis after former Villa player Liam Ridgewell became the latest casualty when he limped out of the defeat by Liverpool with a thigh injury.
Steven Reid (hamstring) and summer signing Goran Popov (groin) are also currently out of action.
It leaves Billy Jones as the only fully fit full-back available to face Paul Lambert's side.
- West Brom have allowed the opposition more shot on target from outside the box than any other team in the Premier League this season (11)
- In the Premier League era, only in 1997-98 (three points) have Villa had a worse record than the four points that they have after five matches
- Aston Villa have won just one of their last 15 Premier League games (W1 D6 L8)
Previous game's starting line-ups
- 1 Guzan
- 7 Bacuna
- 4 Vlaar
- 2 Baker
- 6 Clark
- 14 Luna
- 8 El Ahmadi
- 15 Westwood
- 16 Delph
- 27 Kozak
- 11 Agbonlahor
Team taken from Aston Villa vs Southampton (Barclays Premier League) on Wednesday 4th December 2013
- 13 Myhill
- 28 Jones
- 23 McAuley
- 14 Lugano
- 6 Ridgewell
- 5 Yacob
- 21 Mulumbu
- 18 Amalfitano
- 29 Sessegnon
- 11 Brunt
- 16 Anichebe
Team taken from West Bromwich Albion vs Norwich City (Barclays Premier League) on Saturday 7th December 2013
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Barclays Premier League
|15||West Bromwich Albion||15||15|
|17||West Ham United||15||13|
Aston Villa v West Brom
West Brom striker Shane Long believes Steve Clarke has added a passing style to the resilience already at the club.
Paul Lambert is confident Villa are making progress and believes the response of fans will give him breathing space.
Paul Lambert insists Darren Bent remains a key man after he came off the bench to salvage a point against West Brom.