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Aston Villa-Wolverhampton Preview
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Wolverhampton Wanderers will be looking to bounce back from their midweek FA Cup exit when they host local rivals Aston Villa at Molineux on Saturday afternoon.
Wolves lost 1-0 to Birmingham in their FA Cup third round replay on Wednesday evening, and manager Mick McCarthy was hugely disappointed with the team's performance.
"I am angry with that," said a typically forthright McCarthy. "We have not played particularly well. I don't know who had the best of it between the two of us. It was fairly even but it hinged on us not marking at a corner kick. That really is what it all boiled down to. It is just a huge disappointment.
"I know that winning games creates that winning mentality," continued the Wolves manager. "We have been all right apart from Chelsea when we lost in the last minute... but I didn't want to lose tonight, no."
Aston Villa are six points clear of Saturday's hosts, but Alex McLeish has warned the fans not to take anything for granted against a team who picked up a point away at Tottenham just a week ago.
"The Premier League is so competitive this season and there are bunch of teams and not very many points separate them," said Villa boss McLeish. "Wolves are fighting for every point just the same as all the other teams. They started the season well and hit a wee bad run but they have since picked up again. They have got some good players."
On-loan striker Robbie Keane may start for Villa, although McLeish refused to be drawn on his plans for the Irish international when questioned in his pre-match press conference.
"Robbie is a quality guy who can hopefully influence others as well as contribute himself," said the Scot. "But we'll keep our team quiet just now. I don't want to give away anything in advance of the game.
"He is not here for long but it has to be the right time. We're just assessing him fitness wise. He will be very eager to play in this one but he's the kind of lad that it doesn't matter who the opposition is, he will want to be involved. We've got another few days of training and Robbie's been looking sharp so I've got food for thought for the weekend."
Wolves have doubts over Jamie O'Hara (groin), Roger Johnson (ankle) and Matt Jarvis (hamstring), while Ronald Zubar (knee) is out. Villa have Chris Herd (ankle) and Emile Heskey (calf) missing.
Wolves have failed to win this fixture in the last six Premier League meetings. Wolves winger Matt Jarvis scored in both games against Aston Villa this season, while striker Steven Fletcher has scored seven goals in his last nine Premier League starts. Villa have won just one of their last six league games, but are unbeaten in the last four away from home.
Updated January 19, 2012