By Lewis Rymond
Last week I wrote that the mood amongst Villa fans was at its lowest all season.
Unfortunately, a week later, that hasn’t particularly changed. The transfer
window is currently just something that happens to other clubs, and last
weekend Villa Park witnessed a match lost on the strength of a dodgy penalty
decision. Despite this, derby matches are different, current form often counts for
nothing. So how will Villa fare at the Hawthorns? It’s a difficult one to predict…
Match Difficulty Grade
B – There are many aspects to this match that lead me to believe it will be very
tough for Lambert’s Lions. We all know how well West Brom are doing and
they will be coming into this game with bags of confidence. They will be facing
a Lambert side lacking such confidence and will feel that three points is a must.
Yes, they recently lost to QPR and Reading but I imagine they will be well up for
rectifying those mistakes in a Midlands derby. It’s worth mentioning however
that West Brom have yet to win in 2013. A very difficult one to call indeed.
Form is Temporary
Current Premier League form table (last six games) – West Brom – 13 th / Villa –
West Brom: Last five Premier League matches at home: W 2, D 1, L 2
Aston Villa: Last five Premier League matches away: W 1, D 2, L 2
In the last five visits to the Hawthorns, Villa have won twice, drawn twice and
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
As stated above, Villa’s form is the worst in the Premier League. Conceding goals
is a problem for Lambert’s side, who have failed to keep a clean sheet in nine
games, and it will continue to be a problem if Lukaku continues his fine form
on Saturday. Opta stats tell us Benteke’s mate Romelu has scored in 6 of his 8
Premier League starts for West Brom, so Vlaar’s return to the squad might be a
difficult one. Steve Clarke is likely to welcome back Foster, Ridgewell and Brunt
to the squad, while Dunne probably isn’t quite ready yet.
What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide
For a neutral, it’s likely that this game will be a good one. On paper, it’s a match
that could provide a lot of goals. Villa showed a lot of attacking intent in the
Southampton match but never pulled it off. In this match, such chances must be
utilised and if we get the first goal we could gain a morale-boosting victory. Of all
the matches in the Premier League this is particularly important to the fans, and
while coming at a difficult time for Villa, a win could prove to be a springboard
for the rest of the season. Aside from the match, it goes without saying that it’s
time we saw some cash splashed out in the January transfer window. We’re
nervously eyeing the calendar…
Why Villa are Totally 100% Going to Win
Paul Lambert has said that if no new faces are brought in to Villa Park this
month, he’ll be fine with the squad he has already. A nice thing to say, but Villa
fans aren’t wholly convinced right now. So what better match to prove we can
put up a fight as we lurk in the basement of the league table? If we can convert
the chances created in past matches into quality goals, West Brom, who have
lost three league games prior to this, might lose their way. Losing to Reading
and conceding thrice in the dying embers of the game, as well as being knocked
out of the FA cup, might have their effect on the psyche of Clarke’s squad. In a
nutshell, we deserve the luck. Losing a match due to a disputed penalty will soon
be forgotten if we can get a result against our Midlands neighbours. UTV.
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