FOOTBALL Sports News

Preview: Aston Villa v Wolves

Aston Villa take on Championship leaders Wolves tonight as they hope to close the gap in the top three, and creep up on second place Cardiff, who sit four points above the Villans.

Steve Bruce’s side have won three of their last five matches and lost only one, however, Wolves will go into the game ten points clear of Villa after a 3-0 victory over Leeds United.

The Villans are fresh off a 3-0 triumph over Sunderland, but are without midfielder Glenn Whelan for the meeting this afternoon, following a calf injury he suffered during the match.

Wolves star signing Ruben Neves will be available for the game following a two-match suspension he served for ten bookings, and midfielder Romain Saiss is one caution away from a two-game ban.

Aston Villa striker Jonathan Kodjia will not be available for the game, but is expected to return to training on Monday, after an ankle injury he suffered back in April last year, which has kept him on the side-lines since October.

Villa boss Steve Bruce told BBC WM: “Wolves are a very, very good side who have been there to be a shot from the start of the season.

We’ve lost Glenn Whelan for the foreseeable future, which is a blow as he’s one of our most experienced men. He was arguably our best player at Sunderland the other night and would have been really valuable to us.”

Wolves have won three of their last six meetings with Villa, but have not maintained a league double over them since the 1962-63 campaign. Steve Bruce has not lost a home league match against Wolves in seven previous meetings in the second division.

Bruce said that the clash between the two teams tonight requires no real hype, but has urged his team not to shy away from the league leaders.

“We performed fantastically well in the last Derby game against Birmingham, can we reach those levels again? We’ll have to, because Wolves are an outstanding side.

“They’re 10 points ahead at this stage of the season with 11 games left to play – it’s a big week for us” added Bruce.

Kick off will be at 5:30 at Villa Park.

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