Aston Villa v Wolverhampton Wanderers

14 Oct

Steve Bruce


Steve Bruce was installed as Aston Villa boss on Wednesday

BBC coverage

How to follow:
BBC Radio 5 live, BBC WM; text commentary on the BBC Sport website

Leandro Bacuna has served a suspension and is available for Steve Bruce’s first match in charge of Aston Villa.

Gabby Agbonlahor, frozen out by ex-boss Roberto di Matteo, will be given a chance to return to the first team but, having not played since March, he is unlikely to feature.

Wolves forward Jon Dadi Bodvarsson could return after missing their last two matches with a groin injury.

Nouha Dicko is also close to full fitness after a long-term knee injury.

History repeats for Bruce

Bruce’s first game in charge, at home to one of Villa’s main local rivals, draws an obvious comparison with how it all began for him when appointed Birmingham manager in December 2001.

His reign as Blues boss also started with a game against Wolves – a 2-1 defeat at Molineux.

It adds to the irony that Bruce could so easily have been in charge of Wolves.

He was interviewed following Mick McCarthy’s sacking in February 2012 and thought he had actually been offered the job, only for the Wolves board to change their mind following negative reaction on social media when news of his impending appointment leaked out.

Match facts

  • Aston Villa have won nine and lost just one of their last 14 league games against Wolves.
  • Wolves are unbeaten in their last three at Villa Park, winning one and drawing two.
  • Villa have picked up more cards than any other Championship team this season (36 yellows).
  • Wolves have lost their last two matches. They have not suffered three defeats in a row since February 2016.
  • Villa have won just one of their opening 11 games for the second season in a row and only the fourth time in their history.

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