Belfast Telegraph

Baggies duo a doubt for Villa clash

West Brom's leading scorer Peter Odemwingie and key midfielder Chris Brunt are battling to be fit for Saturday's away derby clash with struggling Aston Villa.

Odemwingie netted twice in last weekend's 3-1 win over Newcastle which sealed Chris Hughton's fate as manager of the Magpies. But the Nigerian international - on target six times this season - has been unable to train this week with a groin problem suffered during the game.

Brunt, who has been the subject of speculation linking him with a move to Liverpool, has also had a groin injury in recent weeks and has also been unable to play a full part in training.

Baggies boss Roberto Di Matteo confirmed: "We have some problems. Odemwingie hasn't trained this week yet. He has got a groin problem.

"If he manages to train tomorrow (Friday), we have a chance. We have to wait and see how he is going to be tomorrow.

"Chris Brunt had to miss some training sessions so we just have to manage him and Peter and hope they will be available for Saturday."

Albion are five points clear of Villa after back-to-back wins over Everton and Newcastle.

But they have not beaten Villa for 25 years and Di Matteo insists league positions at this juncture of the campaign count for nothing.

He said: "I don't think it counts for very much (being above Villa) at this stage of the season.

"We are delighted with the points we have (22) by the middle of December. We are just going to try and add some more as soon as we can. That's our focus."

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