Micah Richards hopes Aston Villa frontman Gabriel Agbonlahor can start firing in next two matches

Aston Villa have two Midlands derbies in as many games, with West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City their next opponents.

Micah Richards has told Aston Villa's official website that Gabriel Agbonlahor was outstanding against Leicester City in the side's most recent match.

Although Villa slipped to a 3-2 defeat at the King Power Stadium, Richards was still impressed by Agbonlahor's performance, as he led the line with energy and aplomb. 

The centre-back is now hoping that the striker can build on that display, as Villa prepare to face West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City in the next week. 

"Gabby has got a good record against West Brom and Birmingham City so hopefully he can be firing in these two games," he said. 

"I thought he was outstanding against Leicester - he really brings pace and a threat. Even when he is not scoring he is putting in a good shift for the team.

"He works hard and it was him that set up Carles Gil's goal so that will give him some confidence going into the next two games.

"Him being at Villa since a young kid, he knows what it is all about and these games mean more to him than any other game. Hopefully he can deliver in these matches."

Agbonlahor has come under criticism from Villa supporters for his lack of end product throughout his time at the club.

Although the 28-year-old has all of the physical attributes required to be a top striker, his finishing can be erratic at times and, as a result, his goalscoring record isn't as impressive as it might have been.

Agbonlahor is yet to open his account for the current campaign, but he does have a decent record against West Brom and will be keen to get on the scoresheet again on Saturday. 

Villa host West Brom having failed to win in any of their last four league matches, and the pressure will be on when they meet Tony Pulis' side. 

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