ALBION’s under-23s boss James Shan believes there will be an extra edge to their Premier League 2 Division Two clash against Aston Villa tonight.
It will be the third meeting between the teams so far this season, with the other two matches mustering up a total of 10 goals in them.
“It’s one of those fixtures we look for in our season because we know it’s going to produce a really good intense game of football,” said Shan.
“I think having that derby mentality with them being our local rivals and the players knowing each other, with lots of them having grown up around each other, definitely adds a bit of spice to it.
“Villa have got a way of doing things and I don't think that's changed greatly over the last few years.
“In terms of their style, we’re pretty clear on the way that they play. Kevin McDonald is a coach that has a CV of producing players that is second to none.
“I’ve no doubt that we’ll be up against a team that has some players in and around their first team, knocking on the door, and they'll be a hard working side.
Shan confirmed that, apart from the long-term injury to Jack Chambers, he has a fully fit squad to choose from - and also spoke about the experiences that Rayhaan Tulloch, Nathan Ferguson and Max Melbourne have had in the first team under Alan Pardew.
“Any time a young player goes into that environment it should give them the ability to recognise what they need to do and how hard they need to work,” he added.
“Hopefully the time that they have spent in and around the first team squad of late will stand them in good stead to work at an intensity in our games.”
The match is taking place at Aggborough Stadium, kicking off at 7pm and costing £5 Adults, £1 concessions and free for season ticket holders.