WBA-MAD Preview: Albion vs Villa

25 November 2013 01:54
Joseph Chapman looks forward to Albion's derby fixture

In addition to the patience-trying international break, Albion and Villa fans alike are being made to wait that little bit longer for the first Midlands derby of the season.

Subject to the Sky cameras, the match will take place under floodlights for the second season running. Hopefully that will only add to the atmosphere. There was plenty of debate following Andre Marriner's decision to award a penalty at Stamford Bridge prior to the England matches. Well, I say debate, it seemed all but Jose Mourinho were in agreement of the referee's error. Extremely frustrating, especially for the Baggies fans present.  Steve Clarke was admirable in his assessment following the match. Mark Hughes, Tony Pulis and Sam Allardyce would have had a field day and, although Clarke acknowledged the decision, he was quick to praise the team's performance for the previous 90 minutes. You'd expect the players' frustrations to be running high, and I would like to think our nearest and dearest will be on the receiving end come Monday.  It was announced that Saido Berahino is expected to sign a new deal in the coming days. This is a huge boost to everyone following the striker's performances this season, both for Albion and England U21s. The national team's youngsters managed a 9-0 victory over San Marino without Berahino midweek – just imagine the scoreline had he not been suspended! We could welcome back Scott Sinclair and Nicolas Anelka for the derby, while Zoltan Gera and Ben Foster are progressing. Boaz Myhill being fit is also a massive plus; he's been exceptional in the latter's absence.  Christian Benteke would be the main threat for the Villans, although there are doubts surrounding his fitness. In all honesty, that'd be extremely welcome news. The pace of Messrs Weimann and Agbonlahor have enough to hurt us, while Villa's clean sheet record this season suggests that, similarly to us, they'll be a tough nut to crack. We're unbeaten in five against the claret and blues, after many years of heartache prior to that. Hopefully Clarke and co can mastermind another result and continue our record of one defeat in eight. Can we make it nine? PREDICTION: It'll be tight; I can't see as many as the four goals in the corresponding fixture last season. I really don't know why, but I really fancy us! 1-0

What do you think the score will be tonight? Have your say here at Baggies Banter. 

Source: WBA MAD