Aston Villa host Wolves on Saturday lunchtime in what is sure to be a fascinating encounter played in intense atmosphere as these two local rivals go head to head.
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Both teams have had a good start to the campaign and this adds an extra element to proceedings. It is third against fourth at Villa Park.
The hosts have begun life under new manager Alex McLeish with a hard fought draw at Fulham followed by a comfortable home victory over Blackburn last weekend.
Wolves – who are expected to fight relegation again this season – have made an even better start with two wins from two against Blackburn and Fulham respectively.
Both teams secured victory in the Carling Cup during the week too, so there is no doubt about spirit being high amongst both squads. Each manager will want the good start to continue this weekend.
Villa will fancy themselves on home turf. They have lost just one of their last nine Premier League matches at Villa Park, although this single defeat was at the hands of Saturday’s opponents back in March.
It may be early days in the season, but with both teams having a good start and there being only two points between them, the battle to be the top side in the midlands this year is well underway.
Looking at the team news, it is unlikely that either manager will make changes from the side that secured victory last time out in the Premier League.
Wolves will not be able to call upon Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, but other than that, both McLeish and Mick McCarthy have been blessed with good luck on the injury front. Something which perhaps comes as no coincidensce alongside the positive starts to the season.
This one gets underway at 12.05pm on Saturday lunchtime.