Chris Brunt fitness boost for West Brom ahead of Aston Villa derby

Chris Brunt is hoping he will be ready to line up for West Bromwich Albion in their Premier League derby date with Aston Villa on Saturday.

West Bromwich Albion are hoping to receive a fitness boost ahead of an eagerly-anticipated derby date with Aston Villa.

Two local foes are set to lock horns at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

It could be that Chris Brunt comes back into contention for the Baggies, with the midfielder having suffered a hamstring strain during a 2-1 defeat to West Ham United.

He is ‘desperate’ to face Villa, having netted a spectacular strike against Paul Lambert’s men at Villa Park last season.

The Northern Ireland international is, however, aware that he cannot afford to rush back into action, with it important to put rivalry to one side as he works his way back to peak condition.

He told West Brom’s official website: “I've been doing bits and pieces this week but it'll be touch and go. We have a few days to work on it but with the type of injury it is I will need to make sure 100 per cent whether I'm fit or not.

"It's just a small strain but it just depends how I react to the rehab. I felt it go straight away in the game so I knew I had to come off. I did the right thing but I was disappointed to come off as, as soon as I stepped off the pitch, West Ham scored the second goal.

"I'll take advice from the medical staff but it's a game I'm desperate to play in. It's a game I've always enjoyed and one you look forward to."

Alan Irvine will be hoping to have all of his key men at his disposal after seeing the Baggies suffer an alarming slump.

Five games without a win, including a run of four straight defeats, have dropped the Midlands outfit to within a point of the relegation zone.

Brunt is among those to have struggled for form at times this season, but his experience could prove invaluable in a fixture which promises pride and passion aplenty.

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