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Aston Villa-West Brom Preview
(AP) -- LONDON (SE) - Aston Villa will be desperate for a win when they visit The Hawthorns to play West Bromwich Albion on Saturday afternoon.
Just three points from safety and in poor form, Villa are slipping towards the drop zone, but they won't be getting any favours from Saturday's opponents.
"No-one wants to see a Midlands club in that situation but I'm a West Brom player and I'll be looking to get maximum points and give this club a tally of points they've never had before in the Premier League," said West Brom and former Villa defender Liam Ridgewell. "We're trying to get as many points as we can and if we finish as the top Midlands club that's a bonus for us.
"It's great playing in a Midlands derby. There is all the build-up with the fans and you don't get bigger than that around here. We're looking forward to it and can't wait for the game.
"There is always an extra roar from the fans on derby days and there is that extra bit of something in the air. We'll be massively up for it and I'm sure the crowd will make sure we are. We're looking to keep our good run going."
Boos accompanied Villa's 2-1 home defeat to Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday evening, but the club's board have since come out in support of beleaguered manager Alex McLeish.
"We will continue to support and rely on our manager and the squad and give them our full support," said owner Randy Lerner in a statement on the club's website. "We are totally conscious, as is everyone at the club, that this is a very trying time for those who love Aston Villa.
"What matters to us, and the board at this moment, is how we, as a club, handle adversity and the pressure it brings."
West Brom have doubts over Paul Scharner (wrist) and Marc-Antoine Fortune (hamstring), while James Morrison (knee), Steven Reid (ankle) and Zoltan Gera (knee) are out. Stilyan Petrov (leukaemia), Darren bent (ankle), Fabien Delph (ankle) and Richard Dunne (broken collar bone) are missing for Villa, while James Collins (groin) is doubtful.
West Brom came from behind to win 2-1 when these two met at Villa Park in October. The Baggies have won the last two against Villa having gone 13 meetings without a win against their Midlands rivals. West Brom have won three of their last four, keeping clean sheets in all three wins, while Roy Hodgson's side have won four of their last five at home in the league. Villa have scored just two goals in their last five away games and haven't won in the league in their last seven.
Updated April 26, 2012