Premier League

West Brom could field only one recognised full-back against Aston Villa with Liam Ridgewell a doubt for the clash

Liam Ridgewell: Facing a race against time to be fit for clash with Aston Villa

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West Brom could go into their Midlands derby against Aston Villa with just one recognised full-back after Steve Clarke confirmed Liam Ridgewell is a doubt for the clash.

Former Villa player Ridgewell limped out of Wednesday night's Capital One Cup defeat to Liverpool midway through the first half with a thigh injury.

With Steven Reid (hamstring) and summer signing Goran Popov (groin) currently on the sidelines, Billy Jones is the only natural full-back who is currently fully fit.

Clarke admits that the injuries are a concern ahead of the clash on Sunday but is confident his side can cover the situation.

"Liam felt something in his calf and went off and it left us a little bit short in the full-back area because we already had Reid and Popov out," Clarke said.

"It is a concern for the weekend. I'm sure Liam would be desperate to play (against Villa). It would be a blow to lose him because he has played every game for us this season.

"He is one of the steady players in the team. It would be disappointing for Liam but disappointing for us as well.

"We sit everyone down, assess what we've got, and if I can get one or two from the treatment room onto the training pitch, we'll do that. If not, we'll just deal with it."


Reid has not played since suffering his setback against Everton four weeks ago while Popov has yet to feature for the Baggies.

Jones started at right-back against Liverpool but switched to the other flank after Ridgewell's departure, with centre-back Craig Dawson having to fill his previous role.

Apart from their cup exit at the hands of Liverpool the Baggies have enjoyed a fine start to the season and Jones is hoping his side can get back to winning ways at Villa Park.

Jones said: "We had a disappointing result against Fulham two weeks ago but we came back and won at the weekend against Reading.

"That's the sign of a good team and, if we can do that again on Sunday at Villa, that would be great. After the disappointment of losing a game, it's good to taste that winning feeling again as soon as possible.

"It was disappointing losing last night (Wednesday) but we will go into the big derby and hopefully get another three points.

"We've only got three days and then we're playing the derby. It will come around quickly and we're looking forward to it."