Barkley back in the starting XI as Villa face West Brom |

There’s an after the Lord Mayor’s Show feel in the Midlands, as Aston Villa v West Bromwich Albion follows this afternoon’s EFL Cup final.

A fixture that has ‘soporific Sunday night snoozefest’ written all over it kicks off at 20:00 BST – but then again, Wolverhampton Wanderers v Burnley didn’t quite pan out the way many of us were expecting.

Despite losing 3-0 in their last outing, the Baggies have still conceded only seven goals in their last eight games.

Villa, meanwhile, have scored on just eight occasions in their nine recent matches without Jack Grealish in the side.

The Villans’ talisman is again absent this afternoon, along with the suspended Matthew Cash.

Dean Smith provided a familiar-sounding fitness update on Grealish ahead of kick-off:

He’s on the way back, he’s pain-free at the moment which is what we wanted to get to. We’ve just got to build his fitness up.

The Villa boss has made three changes to his starting XI, with Ross Barkley the headline returnee after eight games out of the side.

Anwar El Ghazi and Ahmed Elmohamady are also recalled as Cash and the benched Marvelous Nakamba and Jacob Ramsey make way.

Wesley is available after injury and named as a substitute, making his first appearance in a Premier League squad in almost 16 months.

Sam Allardyce has made two changes to his line-up, with Dara O’Shea and Matt Phillips replaced by Semi Ajayi and Conor Gallagher.

Aston Villa XI: Martinez, Elmohamady, Konsa, Mings, Targett, McGinn, Luiz, Barkley, Traore, Watkins, El Ghazi.

West Brom XI: Johnstone, Furlong, Ajayi, Bartley, Townsend, Gallagher, Yokuslu, Maitland-Niles, Robinson, Pereira, Diagne.

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