Aston Villa winger Brett Holman has recovered from a knee injury in time for Sunday's Premier League derby with West Brom at Villa Park after missing the midweek Capital One Cup win at Manchester City. Midfielder Stephen Ireland is again ruled out with the cracked bone in his wrist suffered at Southampton last weekend although he should be fit after the forthcoming international break. Full-back Joe Bennett picked up a knock to his leg at the Etihad Stadium and will be assessed by the Villa medical staff before any decision is taken on his fitness.
West Brom's full-back injury crisis appears to be easing with summer signing Goran Popov and Liam Ridgewell making good progress ahead of Sunday's Premier League derby at Aston Villa. Popov has been able to train for the past two days after a groin problem, while Ridgewell's thigh setback - suffered against Liverpool during the midweek Capital Cup tie - is not as serious as first feared. Midfielder James Morrison (hamstring) is also likely to be available but number two goalkeeper Boaz Myhill is ruled out for two weeks after undergoing minor surgery on a thumb injury while striker Peter Odemwingie completes a three-match ban.
Paul Lambert (Aston Villa) on the form of Gabriel Agbonlahor: "Every time I pick a side it is hard but Gabby's performance the other night was exceptional. His two goals were fantastic and, if you get Gabby firing on all cylinders, then he is a handful. Consistency comes from within himself. He is at an age now where he has got to get consistency in his game as well."
Steve Clarke (West Brom): "We've had a good start and Villa have had an okay start. You can't say they've had a bad start. They've had enough decent results to show what Paul is trying to do there is starting to work. Their trend is upwards. I've watched a few of their videos leading into this match and you can see the team is starting to play the way Paul would like them to play."
Six of the last eight Premier League meetings between Villa and West Brom have ended with a 2-1 score line, while the other two finished 0-0.
After winning five and losing none of the first nine Premier League meetings with West Brom, Villa have lost two and won none of the last three.
Aston Villa have won just one of their last 15 Premier League games (W1 D6 L8).
10 points after five games is West Brom’s best ever start to a Premier League season.
In the Premier League era, only in 1997-98 (three points) have Villa had a worse record than the four points that they have accrued after five matches this campaign.
Villa have won just three of their last 17 Premier League home games (W3 D5 L9), a run which started with defeat against West Brom in October last year.
West Brom have won just one of their last eight Premier League away games (W1 D3 L4).
The Baggies have kept just two clean sheets in their last 40 Premier league away games, though one came against a team managed by Paul Lambert (Norwich last season) and the other against Liverpool where current boss Steve Clarke was assistant.
West Brom have allowed the opposition more shot on target from outside the box than any other team in the Premier League this season (11).
Aston Villa have scored the joint-most goals from outside the box (two, along with Newcastle).
Aston Villa (6/4) West Brom (9/4) Draw (12/5)
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