Birmingham v Aston Villa

Last updated : 14 January 2011 By BBC Sport

Aston Villa winger Ashley Young serves a one-match suspension following his sending off at Sheffield United, while Emile Heskey is still banned.

Loan signing Kyle Walker is likely to continue at right-back in the absence of the injured Luke Young.


Injured: Dann (hamstring), McFadden (knee)

Aston Villa

Suspended: Heskey (two matches), A Young (one match)

Doubtful: Carew (fitness)

Injured: Delph & L Young (knee)


Birmingham will be hoping their win over Aston Villa in the Carling Cup last month has well and truly put their poor run against their Midlands rivals to bed.

If you are a Villa fan or a Villa player you know that this game is probably more important than any other game

Aston Villa manager Gerard Houllier

You have to go back nearly six years to find the last time Birmingham beat Villa in the league and, with both sides languishing at the wrong end of the table, victory on Sunday is more important than ever.

Villa slipped into the relegation zone for the first time since November 2003 after their 1-0 home defeat to Sunderland last week. But Gerard Houllier's side will leapfrog the Blues if they win.

Birmingham, beaten by West Ham in the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final in midweek, have bolstered their squad by signing David Bentley on loan from Spurs until the end of the season.

The former England midfielder - who cost Spurs £15m when they signed him from Blackburn in July 2008 - is relishing Sunday's derby. "I hear it is quite a passionate affair," he said.



• It's almost six years (seven matches) since Birmingham beat Aston Villa in the league but they did enjoy victory in the Carling Cup quarter-final last month, winning 2-1 at St Andrew's.

• The clubs have met 120 times, with Villa leading by 52 wins to 38. There have been 30 draws.

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• Birmingham are looking to win back-to-back league matches for the first time in 11 months.

• They have not won at home since beating Chelsea 1-0 on 20 November.

• The Blues have scored just nine goals at home this season, fewer than any other team in the Premier League.

• New signing David Bentley has yet to score against Aston Villa in eight Premier League meetings, winning only one of those games.

Aston Villa

• Villa have only won one of their last nine league matches, taking five points out of a possible 27.

• Only Wolves have a worse away record than Villa (W1, D2, L7).

• They have gone 11 matches without keeping a clean sheet and conceded 25 goals in that period.

• Gerard Houllier's side have dropped more points from winning positions (14) than any other Premier League team.



Gardner: 5 goals (4 league); Jerome & Ridgewell: 4 goals (3 league)

Aston Villa

Downing: 6 goals (5 league); Heskey: 6 goals (3 league)


Referee: Mark Clattenburg

Assistant referees: Scott Ledger & Adam Watts

Fourth official: Michael Oliver


Birmingham (W2-1 v Blackpool, a): Foster, Carr, Johnson, Dann, Ridgewell, Hleb (Phillips 82), Gardner, Ferguson, Fahey (Larsson 57), Jerome, Derbyshire (Beausejour 76).

Subs Not Used: Taylor, Zigic, Parnaby, Jiranek.

Aston Villa (L0-1 v Sunderland, h): Friedel, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Clark, Ashley Young, Reo-Coker (Bannan 88), Petrov (Albrighton 88), Downing, Agbonlahor, Heskey.

Subs Not Used: Marshall, Pires, Delfouneso, Lichaj, Herd.

Source: BBC Sport

Source: BBC Sport