Date: 1st January 2006 at 5:21pm
Written by:

The Baggies couldn’t have picked a worse time to play Villa because injury crisis or not, Villa have got a new found steel and determination. Mind you, The Baggies aren’t exactly short of battle. On current form there isn’t a great deal between the two clubs, both have struggled this term but both have rallied recently. Should make for an interesting derby – and remember, this used to the THE local derby, before those upstarts from the Sty came along!

Vital Quotes:

Sorenson says: ‘Kanu is unpredictable. You might not see him for a couple of games and then he will be fantastic – you need to expect the worst.’

Doug says: ‘Goodbye’ ???

Neil Clement says: ‘This is huge’. His wife says ‘get over here then’. Oh no, sorry, there is more: ‘I get fired up for derby matches…You don’t want to be going back to your local area and get stick so you need to raise your game for derbies. It’s going to be huge with the position both clubs are in.’

West Brom Team News:

Inamoto has a chance of returning, as does Ronnie Wallwork, Gera is still out. (from): Kuszczak, Robinson, Clement, Davies, Watson, Chaplow, Albrechtsen, Carter, Wallwork, Inamoto, Horsfield, Campbell, Kanu, Hoult, Moore, Greening, Kamara, Ellington.

Player to watch: Kanu.

Can be a tricky bugger when he is on his game.

Aston Villa Team News:

Down to the bare bones of a squad, it is easier to mention the players that are fit. Phillips, Mellberg, Bouma, Hendrie, Samuel, De La Cruz etc etc are all out. (from): Sorensen, Hughes, Delaney, Ridgewell, Barry, Davis, McCann, Bakke, Milner, Moore, Baros, Taylor, Angel, Whittingham, Jumper Jumper, Gardner.

Player to watch: McCann.

He was immense against Arsenal.

Match Facts & Stats

Villa are 13th with 22 points
Best case: 11th
Worst case: 11th
Away form league: 12th, 2 wins, 4 draws, 4 losses.
Current form league: 9th
Last six games: D D L W D D

West Brom are 17th with 19 points.
Best case: 13th
Worst case: 18th
Home form league: 10th, 5 wins, 1 draw, 4 losses.
Current form league: 11th
Last six games: D W L L W L

Last season: West Bromwich Albion 1-1 Aston Villa

Record in Premiership: WBA 0 wins, Villa 1 win, 3 Draws.
Prem record at Hawthorns: WBA 0 wins, Villa 0 wins, 2 Draws.

Ref Watch:

Rob Styles. 13 matches, 2 reds, 41 yellows. Blimey!

Match Prediction:

Mystic Mug got it right v Arsenal and is confident that Villa can get an away day victory. 2-1 to Villa and a happy new year on Tuesday as Mystic predicts a new era for Aston Villa with the takeover happening. However, his crystal ball is misted, and can’t say if it will be a golden era!

Next Fixtures:

07/01/2006 (Hull) FA Cup – BBC1
14/01/2006 (West Ham)