Aston Villa will take on local rivals West Bromwich Albion in their final game before Christmas. Following yesterday’s news from the Prime minister, I am sure I am not alone when I say a win over West Brom is just what I need right now.
The year many of us have experienced is probably the polar opposite of Villa on the pitch. There have been ups and downs and even frustrations (The draw with Burnley in midweek) but overall things have been pretty good for Dean Smith’s men.
West Brom on the other hand have recently sacked Slaven Bilic and appointed Sam Allardyce to try and help them stay in the league. On the face of things and West Brom fans will know more than me, it seems a very harsh decision. They hardly backed the manager in the summer despite promotion. Obviously, time will tell if it will prove to be a good decision or not.
With the games Villa have coming up, I feel that win this evening is a must. We must ignore what’s going on at the Hawthorns and concentrate on ourselves. A similar to the performance against Burnley with better finishing should see us come away with all three points.
Aston Villa will be able to welcome back suspended duo Douglas Luiz and Matty Cash after they missed out on the goalless draw with Burnley.
Ross Barkley reportedly returned to training yesterday but it is unclear if he will be available to be involved in some capacity.
Kortney Hause will likely continue to deputise for Ezri Konsa if he doesn’t return from his illness.
West Brom will be without Matheus Pereira who will serve the final game of his three-match ban.
Referee: Martin Atkinson.
Assistants: Lee Betts, Constantine Hatzidakis. Fourth official: Robert Jones. VAR: Darren England. Assistant VAR: Stephen Child.
DID YOU KNOW
Aston Villa have won four of their previous five away Premier League matches this season. That is the same number as their previous 42 on the road in the competition (W4, D8, L30).
Villa already have more away points this season (12) than they managed in the whole of the last campaign (11).
West Brom have not lost in their last eight encounters at the Hawthorns with Villa (W3, D5).
The new manager factor at West Brom will have an impact in one way or another. It is unclear if it will be a positive or negative one yet but we must concentrate on ourselves. Man for man, we are a better side but that means nothing when it comes to the 90 minutes on the pitch.
Villa battered Burnley in mid-week but they will not care because they walked away from Villa Park with a share of the points. Smith will know that Villa will need to do more in front of goal or their decent start to the campaign could quickly unravel.
West Brom 0-1 Aston Villa