Gareth Barry warns West Brom about Aston Villa's Jack Grealish

Aston Villa fans celebrate after the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Birmingham City at Villa Park on November 25, 2018 in Birmingham, England.

Jack Grealish could be key as Aston Villa face Midland rivals West Bromwich Albion in the Championship play-offs.

Jack Grealish of Aston Villa celebrates towards his supporters after the fourth goal is scored by Alan Hutton during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Birmingham City...

Gareth Barry has admitted that West Brom face a big challenge keeping Jack Grealish quiet ahead of Saturday’s Championship play-off clash with Aston Villa, in quotes reported by the Birmingham Mail.

The Midland rivals are set to go head-to-head for a place in the play-off final at Wembley with the first leg set to take place at Villa Park this weekend.

West Brom finished fourth in the table, one place and four points ahead of their near neighbours but Aston Villa are arguably the favourites to meet either Derby or Leeds at the national stadium, having won a club-record 10 successive league games recently.

 

And, in homegrown playmaker Jack Grealish, Aston Villa arguably boast the most naturally gifted footballer anywhere in the Championship – a player Barry believes West Brom may struggle to contain if they are not switched on.

“It is quite clear how big Jack is to the team and the fans. You can tell how much they do love him,” said the West Brom midfielder, who spent 11 years at Aston Villa between 1998 and 2009.

Gareth Barry of West Bromwich Albion looks on prior to the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and West Ham United at The Hawthorns on September 16, 2017 in West Bromwich,...

“He is certainly someone we are going to have to keep our eye on to keep quiet. Villa know how big he is towards their hopes. You can just tell there is a different atmosphere when Jack Grealish in the team because he is a Villa fan and local lad.”

23-year-old Grealish has already shown that he can make the difference in derby clashes recently, scoring one of his six league goals in a dramatic 1-0 win away at Birmingham City in March.

And, according to the Mirror, he has a £60 million release clause in his contract amid continued interest from Tottenham Hotspur.

Jack Grealish of Aston Villa in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Millwall at Villa Park on April 22, 2019 in Birmingham, England.

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