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Derbies: West Brom to finish higher than Aston Villa

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Granted both West Brom and Aston Villa have bigger rivalries with Wolves and Birmingham respectively but in the absence of those two in the Premier League and with only four miles between both grounds, there are plenty of points to prove.

Last season West Brom comfortably toppled Villa for a second year running.

Years of Midland dominance emanating from Villa starts to recede and the smell of a relegation dog-fight now dominates the Villains.

The Albion look to have finally shred that unwanted 'yo-yo club' tag, replacing it with a shiny new one which reads 'mid-table obscurity'.

Of course The Baggies will happily take that tag though, a European place is still beyond Steve Clarke's men despite holding their own in the top four for a fair part of last season.

The bubble had to burst, or maybe it just shifted down the road because the Albion's loss of form coincided with Villa turning around their own fortunes when at one point it looked like Paul Lambert's men were in very real danger of following the route of their dearly beloved Birmingham.  

This season the expectation seems to be that Aston Villa will be fine and West Brom will go back to the dark days of danger.

Maybe thats not a fair assumption though.

The Villains have made signings yes but are they any good?

It's hard to tell. None of them have any Premier League experience, you cannot judge a whole side on a victory against Arsenal.

For that reason, they arguably haven't strengthened enough to suggest they could return to the lofty years under Martin O'Neill.

On the other hand, the players turning up through the doors at the Hawthorn's look pretty good.

Romelu Lukaku is a massive blow, nobody can argue that but Nicholas Anelka, having not retired, could be of great help, it wasn't that long ago that he was Chelsea's top scorer.

Add Anelka next to some guys who will do their share of the running like Victor Anichebe, Matej Vydra and the promising looking Saido Berahino then you have yourselves a good frontline.

Its the striking department that both are strong in, Villa have the much courted Christian Benteke alongside the resurgent Gabby Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann.

The defenders will be the difference between these two. 

Villa were a circus act at times last season and if it wasn't for Brad Guzan they would have shipped more than an already concerning 69 goals, 12 more than at the Hawthorns.

I don't see enough of a swing over summer that would suggest the roles will be reversed.

 

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Topics:
West Bromwich Albion
Aston Villa
Football
Premier League

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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