Aston Villa vs Birmingham City
English League Championship
Date: Saturday, 11th February 2018
Kick-off at 12:00 UK/ 13:00 CET
Venue: Villa Park (Birmingham).
Gabby Agbonlahor is fit again after niggling injuries have restricted him to just six appearances this season. Lewis Grabban is available to make his debut after signing on loan from Bournemouth on deadline day last month.
The striker has been assessed this week but Villa could be unchanged as they hunt a seventh straight league win.
Birmingham will recall David Davis and Maikel Kieftenbeld for the trip to Villa. The midfielders were rested for the 4-1 FA Cup extra-time defeat to Huddersfield as they are on nine bookings but they will return on Sunday.
Jonathan Grounds is out with a knee injury and Jacques Maghoma has missed the last two games with a groin injury so will be assessed. Boss Steve Cotterill is also mindful of fatigue after playing 120 minutes against Huddersfield on Tuesday.
Villa are unbeaten in 11 league matches against Birmingham (W7 D4) since losing 2-0 in March 2005 in the Premier League.
The Blues haven't scored in any of their last four trips to Villa Park in all competitions, since a Mikael Forssell goal in a 5-1 defeat in April 2008.
Steve Bruce hasn't lost any of his seven home matches in all competitions against Birmingham since he departed the club in 2007 (W6 D1 L0).
Steve Cotterill, meanwhile, hasn't visited Villa Park as a manager since October 2005 - his Burnley side lost 1-0 to Villa in a League Cup tie.
Villa haven't won seven consecutive league matches since February 1990, when they were in the top-flight.
Robert Snodgrass is enjoying his most productive league season (6 goals, 9 assists) since the 2011/12 campaign when he played for Leeds United (13 goals, 13 assists).
Steve Bruce was recently awarded the Championship Manager of the Month award and with good reason as he guided the team to four consecutive league victories in January.
In all, Villa have strung together six league wins in a row, having not lost in the division since late December, and that sort of form sees them firmly in the picture for a play-off spot, but they will undoubtedly be aiming for automatic promotion.
Bruce's men are currently third in the table and, while Cardiff City could potentially leapfrog them on Friday evening, just a point separates them from second-place Derby County.
The likes of Conor Hourihane, Jack Grealish and Albert Adomah have been in top form for Villa during this campaign and they have been boosted by the addition of Lewis Grabban, who already scored 12 goals for Sunderland while on loan there for the first half of the season.
Nevertheless, they will surely face a much sterner task against the Blues on Sunday than they did earlier in the season, with Cotterill overseeing an upturn in fortunes since December and his players are certain to be riled up for the occasion, especially having won their last two league matches.
Aston Villa vs Birmingham: Head-to-head
Aston Villa have 4 victories in a row.
Aston Villa is unbeaten in 7 games at home.
Birmingham is unbeaten in 5 games away from home.
Last 5 direct clashes saw less than 2.5 goals and 3 of them less than 1.5.
Aston Villa are unbeaten in 5 games at home against Birmingham.
Last 4 games between the sides at Villa Park have seen less than 1.5 goals.
Overall there are 125 games between the sides: 54 Victories for Aston Villa, 38 for Birmingham and 33 draws.