West Brom v Aston Villa: Championship play-off semi-final, second leg – live!

14 May 2019 06:51
Play-off semi-final updates from The Hawthorns (first leg: 1-2)Special report on abuse towards grassroots football referees Premier League: our writers’ review | Big quiz of the seasonAnd feel free to email Ben or tweet @benfisherj 7.51pm BST It is a beautiful evening for a tub-thumping West Midlands derby. West Brom fans are beginning to make a real racket. 7.38pm BST Jimmy Shan talks. “We need to give them a punch, so to speak, we need to be a bit more front-foot,” the West Brom boss says, asked about the game-plan. “We are behind in the tie and we need to be a bit better and a bit brighter in the final third of the pitch.” And the million-dollar question, have they practiced penalties? “We have, yes, but it is not something new to our training schedule.” 7.31pm BST Dean Smith speaks pre-match. “We have got in a very good habit of winning football games and we want to keep doing that,” says the Villa manager. “This is going to be a tough game. I think they [West Brom] will be a little more positive than they were at Villa Park.” Of promoting Hourihane and Green to the starting lineup after impressing in the first leg, he says: “They played well when they came on, helped change the game and when you do that in our team, you keep your shirt. I expect a good performance again. Asked what his final words to his players before kick-off will be, he replies: The same as always – be a good team-mate. You are never going to win anything on your own – you have to do it as a team – and there is a great togetherness in our squad.” 7.25pm BST A gentle reminder that the winner of this one will play either Derby or Leeds at Wembley. Marcelo Bielsa’s side are in the box seat after the first leg but those teams meet again at Elland Road on Wednesday, and Frank Lampard knows his side must embrace the atmosphere in front of a supercharged sell-out crowd: Related: Frank Lampard tells Derby to rise to play-off pressure and sink Leeds 7.20pm BST Before we get lost in the actual football, let’s turn our attention to an increasingly grim situation at Bolton Wanderers: Related: Bolton Wanderers: emergency food bank set up to help unpaid staff 7.12pm BST Team news news: Jacob Murphy replaces the suspended Dwight Gayle as West Brom make one change, while Dean Smith also opts to mix things up. Conor Hourihane and Andre Green are in for the start for Villa, who will be heading to Wembley if they avoid defeat. Giving Green – who joined the club aged nine and was recalled from a loan spell at Portsmouth in January – a go from the off in place of Albert Adomah is a bold call by Smith. But then, that is what these games are all about. As for the benches, West Brom boast pace in abundance in Jefferson Montero and Jon Leko, while Villa have plenty of experience in Jedinak and Whelan. 7.03pm BST West Bromwich Albion (3-4-3): Johnstone; Dawson, Hegazi, Bartley; Holgate, Johansen, Brunt, Gibbs; Phillips, Rodriguez, Murphy Subs: Bond, Townsend, Adarabioyo, Morrison, Harper, Leko, Montero 6.42pm BST After a first-leg victory, Aston Villa are as close as 90 minutes away from reaching a second successive play-off final. A 2-1 comeback win on home soil has left Dean Smith’s side poised to seal a spot at Wembley on 27 May. Villa are already feeling pretty good about themselves – they have lost just one of their past 14 matches – but history is on their side, too. Sixteen of the last 18 sides to win the first leg of a Championship play-off semi-final have gone on to progress through to the final. “The players will know from me and the staff that nothing is over,” said Villa manager Dean Smith. “We’ve got to go there and put in a really good performance. I didn’t feel it was a good performance on Saturday. I feel there were a few players who performed below their normal standards. If we play to our normal standards we’ll be a right threat.”This time it is West Brom who will lean on home advantage but, if they are to win, they will do so without 24-goal top-scorer Dwight Gayle, who picked up a silly red card in the last leg. “What it does present is that the lads waiting in the wing have an opportunity to perform and be a hero,” said caretaker manager Jimmy Shan. Villa have no such problems; Smith has a fully-fit squad to choose from, including talisman Tammy Abraham. “There’s different ways you can approach the game but, if we win, we’re through,” Smith said. Continue reading. . read full article

Source: TheGuardian