Arguably the standout Championship game of the weekend comes at The Hawthorns tonight as West Brom host in-form Aston Villa.
Not only are the two sides competing for promotion but the fixture between the Championship’s top scorers will also have an edge as it’s a West Midlands derby.
Whilst Birmingham may be the big game for Villa and Wolves to Albion fans, it’s fair to say these two clubs do have a big rivalry.
And, Villa boss Dean Smith, a boyhood fan of the team he now manages, has been reflecting on the importance of this game when speaking to the Express & Star.
“I was brought up, supporting Villa in the 80s, where Albion v Villa was a big game.
“It’s not been so big over the past few years because of the re-emergence of Villa v Blues, but there have been some really good games – certainly when Ron Atkinson was in charge of West Brom and they were doing really well.”
Smith’s men will be searching for a fifth win in six games when they make the short trip to the Baggies tonight and they know a victory will move them into the play-off spots and just one point behind their rivals.
This is a massive game to both clubs tonight and not just because it’s a local derby.
As Smith says, there is a long history between the two sides and that will ensure that there is a real edge and passion to the game.
His focus though will be on the team as they look to maintain this remarkable recent run.
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