[7th-Mar-15] Match Preview: Aston Villa – West Brom

Aston Villa will more than likely have captain Ron Vlaar available to play after his return from a calf injury, but Alan Hutton’s booking in the league fixture against West Brom on Wednesday means he will be suspended. West Brom captain Darren Fletcher, who was signed in the January window, will be unavailable for cup selection for the rest of the season, while Victor Anichebe and Callum McManaman are out with groin and foot injuries respectively.

Aston Villa and West Brom are well established cup rivals, not only just boasting the West Midlands derby in the league, but having been drawn twelve previous times together in the FA Cup, nine of which Villa have won or progressed through including the last five ties. In addition, only three clubs in England have more FA Cup wins than Villa (Arsenal [11], Manchester United [11], and Spurs [8]) who last won the trophy in 1957. West Brom’s last trip to the semi-finals was in 2008 where they lost to eventual runner-ups Portsmouth, now of League Two. Villa last reached the semi-finals in 2010 where they lost to eventual winners Chelsea. West Brom boss Tony Pulis has only been to the FA Cup Final once, in 2011 as runner-ups with Stoke City, and the Baggies have yet to win the trophy since their success in 1968.

Predictions: Villa remains the cup bogey team but it’s a scrappy affair. Villa 1-0 West Brom

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