Aston Villa v Wolves: Key battles to keep an eye on

As Villa and Wolves face off tomorrow, we look at the key battles that could decide the result.

Matt Targett v Adama Traore

Adama Traore of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Matt Targett of Aston Villa. (AMA)

Villa defender Targett has endured difficult previous meetings with explosive forward Traore and the pair are likely to meet again.

Targett has nailed down the left-wing-back spot in recent weeks, while Traore looks likely to replace Francisco Trincao who is recovering from Covid-19.

Wolves’ desire to attack Villa on the break may rely heavily on Traore’s ability to get beyond Targett and put pressure on the centre-backs.

John McGinn v Ruben Neves

Aston Villa's John McGinn

As with any derby clash, the midfield battle is often essential.

Neves will want to pull the strings for Wolves and play intricate forward passes, while all-action McGinn will be keen to make his presence known early on, while also breaking forward into attacking areas to add another threat.

Matty Cash v Fernando Marcal

Brentford's Ivan Toney (centre) and Aston Villa's Matty Cash (right)

Although Villa’s forwards will be threatening enough, Cash could prove very useful at right-wing-back.

He will likely face Marcal, in left-wing-back, who is currently out of form with too many misplaced passes and mistakes.

Marcal already offers little in attack, but Cash’s forays forward will push him back and force him to defend deeper.

Kortney Hause v Raul Jimenez

Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers is challenged by Sean Longstaff of Newcastle United (Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images).

Former Wolves man Hause has forced his way into the Villa side in recent weeks and at the centre of the back three he will be tasked with handling Jimenez.

The Wolves forward hit some form before the international break, with one goal and two assists, and will be in confident mood at Villa Park.

His movement, ability to drop deep and hold the ball up and then release his team-mates will be a concern for Villa and Hause.

Also, at the other end, the defender will be a threat from set pieces and Jimenez may need to help defend it.

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