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Under-23 preview | Aston Villa vs Wolves

Wolves under-23s will be looking to make it a very Good Friday when they make the short trip to Birmingham to face Aston Villa on Friday afternoon.

James Collins’ side are looking for their first win in three after back-to-back draws against Middlesbrough and Sunderland in their previous two outings.

Although head coach Collins was pleased with the performance of his players in those pair of matches, he was left frustrated after not being able to turn their dominance into three points, due to a lack of clinical finishing in attack.

But with Christian Marques and Taylor Perry, both senior members of the squad, returning from injury last time out and with Theo Corbeanu back from his international goalscoring exploits for Canada, all three would be expected to go back into the team, giving the development side a boost ahead of a West Midlands derby.

Although Villa come into the game off the back of a pair of home defeats to Stoke City and Burnley, the young Villans will take confidence from their 3-1 win over Wolves at Aggborough back in October.

But they currently sit four points and three places below their opponents ahead of kick-off, with Wolves under-23s in fifth place, the final play-off spot, but with games in hand over the teams above them.

Unfortunately, Wolves TV are unable to broadcast this afternoon’s game due to Villa streaming the game in aid of the Aston Villa Foundation. Live coverage of the match through Villa TV costs £1.99 and can be bought here, with all proceeds going to Villa’s official charity.

WHEN

Friday, 3pm

WHERE

Bodymoor Heath Training Ground, Birmingham

LAST THREE

Wolves

1-1 vs Middlesbrough (A)

0-0 vs Sunderland (H)

0-2 vs Leeds United (H)

Villa

3-4 vs Stoke City (H)

2-3 vs Burnley (H)

3-2 vs Sunderland (A)

WHAT THE BOSS THINKS

On settling for draws in the last two matches

“I thought, yet again, we played some really good football. We showed real bravery in possession, played the system very well and I thought we created more chances.

“I suppose it’s frustrating that we’re not taking them and winning the games, but you can’t ask any more of the players for the way they played to the system and playing how we want them to play. We just need to take our chances when they fall to us.”

On the return of Marques and Perry

“It’s just nice to see them back. Christian looks like he’s grown physically; the sports science and medical team have done terrific work with him, he looks more of a ‘man’ now than he was eight or nine weeks ago.

“We never doubt his ability on the ball, but he needed to develop physically and the injury and time off has allowed him to do that and he looks great.

“When you can bring subs on like Christian and TP, you’re not weakening the side, you’re strengthening it, so it’s nice to get them back.”

NEXT FIVE

02/04 Aston Villa (A)

12/04 Newcastle United (H)

19/04 West Bromwich Albion (H)

26/04 Norwich City (H)

30/04 Reading (A)

#WolvesAcademy