Aston Villa take on West Bromwich Albion this weekend in an early-season West Midlands derby at Villa Park, with bragging rights as well as three points up for grabs.
The home side will be looking to bounce back from their disappointment against Leicester City where, despite managing to score two very well-taken goals, they threw away a two-goal lead against the Foxes at the King Power Stadium.
As a result, they have taken just the four points from their opening five games, and will probably need to tighten up at the back to prevent any repeats.
This weekend they face a side managed by a figure notorious for his solid defensive displays away from home and, after a couple of difficult games, Tony Pulis tried to tighten up and has succeeded in securing back-to-back clean sheets. You would get pretty short odds on the Baggies getting another.
One of the key battles on Saturday will be fought in the middle of the park, so how will Ashley Westwood fare against Claudio Yacob? Below are a few key statistics from how they've done so far this season:
|Position||Team||Passing Accuracy||Tackles Accuracy||Total Scoring Attempts per game||Total Att Assist||Goals||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Ashley Westwood||MF||Aston Villa||87%||86%||1||13||0||5||450|
|Claudio Yacob||MF||West Brom||79%||70%||0||2||0||5||350|
There are a couple of stand-out statistics, but Westwood beats his opposite number in every area.
It is of little surprise that he tops Yacob in the more attacking elements of his game, including attempts on goal and trying to provide an assist, given the roles they have in two very different set-ups. But, in the same sense, it is probably a little surprising to see Westwood come out on top in terms of tackling accuracy, while the Villa man also seems to be the more accomplished performer in possession.
As outlined, these figures could be due to the different roles they play - Yacob may be told to just get rid of the ball, while Westwood may be told to find a teammate - that would certainly be one explanation for the vast difference in passing, and Yacob could simply be involved in more tackles, hence the lower accuracy.