Aston Villa take a one goal lead to the Hawthorns tonight as they look to secure a place in the Championship play-off final at the end of the month, after coming from behind to beat the Baggies 2-1 at Villa Park at the weekend.
The catalyst for the Villa fightback at the weekend was the introduction of midfielder Conor Hourihane, who came off the bench on 67 minutes to replace Glenn Whelan and went on to fire home an equaliser on 75 minutes.
So has Hourihane done enough to start in the second leg against the Baggies?
“I’ll apologise though, his antics against Leeds really turned me off him.
“I did use to champion his cause, but I’m not convinced he’s good enough for Villa now.
“I wouldn’t play him.”
“I think he should start ahead of Whelan given his impact on Saturday.
“Villa’s slim advantage means they should not sit back in the early stages and they must press for a greater lead.
“Hourihane is the man who can help instigate that from midfield, while Whelan could come on later to sure things up.”
“He should start.
“His introduction on Saturday changed the game in Villa’s favour. If he can trouble The Baggies defence like that again on Tuesday, it is hard to see West Brom’s suspension hit attack get many opportunities to push forward themselves.
“You also feel that Glenn Whelan’s own error in the lead up to Dwight Gayle’s opener won’t have done him any favours when Dean Smith comes to pick between the two.”
“Villa seriously struggled to break down the Baggies until he came on and seemed to tie the attack together.
“I don’t fancy Smith’s side to be able to sit on a lead so they need to keep going for it.”