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STAT PACK: Albion v Villa

13 December 2014

Facts and figures ahead of Saturday's clash with the Villans (ko 3pm)

Ahead of this weekend's derby with Aston Villa, football stats website WhoScored.com are here again to crunch the numbers.

This is the kind of game where form goes out the window. Alan Irvine will be looking for his players to get themselves pumped up, but he will also be looking for cool heads to spur his team to victory.

A hard-fought goalless draw at Hull last weekend and a week-long rest should see Irvine’s men head into the fixture against their local rivals in confident mood. However, they will need to be at their best to beat Paul Lambert's side, who are now 5 games unbeaten.

But Villa have only scored ten goals in 15 Premier League games this season, with only four of those coming on the road. The Baggies’ defence will be hoping for a clean sheet on Saturday.

Two of Albion's three highest rated players this season according to WhoScored.com's statistically-based rating system are defenders Craig Dawson (7.43) and Joleon Lescott (7.22). They will both be hoping for another good performance this weekend if selected.

Craig Gardner makes up the top 3 with an average rating of 7.28 and will look to drive his team forward from deep, but will also provide a goal threat with his fierce shooting, particularly given that Villa boast a WhoScored weakness of 'defending against long shots'.

According to WhoScored, Villa also struggle with 'defending set pieces', 'avoiding fouling in dangerous areas' and 'aerial duels'.

Undefeated in their last four home games against Aston Villa, Albion should be the more confident of the two sides. Villa are without a win at the Hawthorns since way back in 2008 and Irvine's men will be doing all they can to extend that run this weekend.

*WhoScored.com is a unique website and one of the fastest growing in the sports industry, specialising in the in-depth analysis of detailed football data. Provided with unique stats, they compile and create comprehensive analysis on the major European divisions, including live match stats and player ratings. Follow @WhoScored and their editor-in-chief @alitweedale on Twitter.

Interesting facts

Albion and Villa have both beaten each other in an FA Cup final.

Baggies midfielder Craig Gardner came through the youth system at Villa Park. He made over 50 Premier League appearances for Villa, scoring five times between 2005 and 2010. His brother, Gary, remains a midfielder at Villa but is currently on loan at Brighton.

Both teams have scored in 13 of the last 15 games between the two sides.

Villa have not won in their last four visits to The Hawthorns (L1, D3)

The first-ever meeting between the two sides was an FA Cup third-round tie in 1885. The game ended 0-0, but Albion then defeated their Midlands rivals 3-0 in the replay.

We said, they said

We said – Ben Foster: “You know what you are going to get from Villa, it is a big occasion for everyone involved.”

They said – Gabby Agbonlahor: “West Brom are never taken lightly. They have caused us problems over the past few seasons and they are a good side with a lot of experience and quality.”

Most recent encounters at The Hawthorns

Albion 2-2 Villa (25/11/13) Premier League

Albion 2-2 Villa (19/1/13) Premier League

Albion 0-0 Villa (28/4/12) Premier League

Listen to live match commentary on Albion Player

Can’t get to The Hawthorns? Tune in to Albion Player’s live, full-match commentary from 2pm. To subscribe, click here.

At the game and want to listen to the commentary? Tune into 106.9FM from anywhere inside the stadium. 

Follow our live matchday blog

Keep up to speed with all the matchday action and interact with fellow fans on our FREE blog on the Albion Wall from 2pm.

So, if you can’t make the game, click here to join in the fun, and post your comments?

Copyright 2014 WEST BROMWICH ALBION FOOTBALL CLUB LTD. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.wba.co.uk as the source.

West Bromwich Albion, WBA and Baggies are registered trademarks of West Bromwich Albion Football Club Ltd. The club is also known as West Brom.

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