Aston Villa v Wolverhampton Wanderers – The big preview

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Dean Smith

Aston Villa return to Premier League action today as they take on local rivals Wolverhampton Derby in the ‘it’s not a derby – derby’.

Some of you will probably know what I mean by that phrase while others won’t. For those that don’t, basically, sections of both sets of fans state that they don’t regard this game as a derby but deep down they want to get one over a local rival.

Either way, you look at it and regardless of what flavour you are, its a game that both sides will want to win. Villa have surprised some with how much they have improved compared to last season while Wolves seem to be having a season they will want to forget in a hurry.

Wolverhampton Wanderers currently sit 12th in the table, five points behind Villa and will want to get their own back on Dean Smith’s men following a defeat at Molineux earlier in the season. Villa, on the other hand, will regard Wolves as noisy neighbours. The kind you don’t really hear much from until they finish above you and make a song up about you and feel the need to sing it at every given opportunity.

From a personal point of view, I want to beat them, of course, I do but no more so that I would have wanted to beat Sheffield United in mid-week. Villa will have to up their performance levels and improve their attacking threat if they are to cause Wolves any problems.

TEAM NEWS

Jack Grealish is back in light training but it is very unlikely that he will play in any part of today’s fixture.

Grealish is back in light training

Matty Cash is due back in training very soon so should be available for selection in a week or two. Kortney Hause will join full contact training next week while Wesley is in need of some match fitness. He is expected to feature in some Under-23 games in the near future.

Wolves have no fresh concerns and will still be without Marcal, Raul Jimenez and Daniel Podence all still on the sidelines.

THE OFFICIALS

Referee: Craig Pawson.

Assistants: Simon Long, Richard West. Fourth official: Darren England. VAR: Peter Bankes. Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday.

DID YOU KNOW

Aston Villa have the highest win rate in Premier League matches played on a Saturday this season. An impressive 75%!

The seven goals Ollie Watkins has scored at Villa Park this season is more than any other Villa player in the Premier League since 2012/13.

Wolverhampton Wanderers beat Villa at Villa Park last season. They have failed to achieve back to back victories at Villa Park since 1960.

HOW TO FOLLOW

I CANNOT WATCH LIVE

Join fellow Villa supporters by discussing tonight’s game on our forum in our live match chat.

ON TV

Aston Villa v Wolverhampton Wanderers will be shown live in the UK on Sky Sports Main Event.

PREDICTION

It is no secret that we lacked that killer ball in our midweek defeat at Sheffield United. Wolves are generally solid at the back so I can’t see it being easy to score for Villa. I fully expect changes in the starting line-up so it will be interesting to see who takes their chance.

Aston Villa 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers

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