West Brom v Aston Villa: Match Preview (©GettyImages)
by Nathan Sohl
, read by 654 people.
West Bromwich Albion v Aston Villa; Premier League; The Hawthorns; Saturday 28 April 2012; 15:00 KO
West Brom welcome back striker Marc-Antoine Fortune, who is fit again after missing the 1-0 win against Liverpool.
Midfielders Zoltan Gera and James Morrison are both out with knee injuries, and Steve Reid is also on the treatment table with an ankle injury.
Meanwhile, Richard Dunne could return to the Villa side after a two and a half month lay-off with the broken collarbone he received whilst playing against former club Manchester City.
Alex McLeish will also check on the availability of defender James Collins, midfielder Stephen Ireland and striker Emile Heskey, but will still be without Fabian Delph and Darren Bent who won't play again this season.
Dunne: Relegation a 'disaster'
Richard Dunne has admitted that relegation for Aston Villa would be a 'disaster,' but believes manager Alex McLeish is doing all he can to help the club avoid the drop.
The Villains have failed to win any of their last seven Premier League matches, which includes four losses and three draws - a run that leaves Alex McLeish's side 15th in the table, just three points above the drop zone - and the fans calling for the Scot to be replaced.
"The fans have a bee in their bonnet about the manager but he's doing his best," said Dunne. "He won't be sitting around feeling sorry for himself. He knows the job in hand and it'll be up to him."
The Republic of Ireland defender has missed two and a half months of football due to a collarbone injury, and believes the Villa manager has been prevented from picking his strongest side due to injuries.
"The manager can only pick who is available and we've probably had about 11 senior players because the injury list has grown and grown. He's not been able to get the players he wants on the field at the one time."
Dunne has admitted that relegation would be a disaster and has called on Villa to see this season as a warning that they need to increase their squad size to have sufficient cover if there are any long-term injuries next season.
"If we go down it will be a disaster for the whole club. But we know the situation we're in and it needs fixing," continued the 32-year-old.
"This season has to be a warning to everyone that we need the squad to grow, so that if there are injuries then we have experienced cover.
"It's very difficult in the Premier League because the sides who have been promoted recently are really good with strong squads."