Stat pack: Gana presence key today?
With little love lost between the two sides, both managers will be desperate to give their fans something to cheer this weekend, aiming to build on victories in the FA Cup in midweek.
Villa will be aiming to exact revenge on the Baggies following a 0-1 reverse earlier in the campaign but certainly know that the Baggies will be no pushovers.
The visitors are hoping to build on a four-game unbeaten run in all competitions but will know that, while a draw against high-flying Leicester was another step in the right direction last time out, three points are needed to boost the club's survival bid.
However, after a poor start to the season at home, West Brom have improved of late with 10 points from a possible 15.
That said, Albion have kept just one clean sheet in their last seven league matches at The Hawthorns, so Villa will fancy their chances of troubling the Baggies goal.
Meanwhile, in such a hotly contested encounter, winning the battle of the middle ground will be crucial - and Idrissa Gana will hope to build on his improving form of late.
The summer signing scored his first goal for the club in midweek with a tidy finish, though it's his ability to regain possession that has most caught the eye and could be crucial once more this weekend.
Recently deployed in the central holding role in Villa's midfield three, the Senegalese international is relishing the responsibility of protecting the back four of late.
Indeed, in his three league appearances since the turn of the year, Gana has secured an average statistical rating of 7.62 from WhoScored.com.
That is the highest for Villa in that time and has seen the 26-year old move to the top of the leaderboard for the season of players to make at least 10 starts, with an overall score of 7.15.
It's little surprise that the midfielder has built an impressive rating of late either.
Only three players have made more tackles in the top-flight this season, with Gana totalling 72 thus far.
Having produced nine against Leicester alone last weekend - only four players have produced more tackles in a single game this season - his presence in the second half in particular was key to getting Villa back into the game.
Elsewhere only Leicester's N'Golo Kante, who also made the move from Ligue 1 to England's top-flight in the summer, has made more interceptions than Gana (74).
If Villa are to come out on top today there is little doubt that they will need to hold their own in what is likely to be tense affair.
Aiming to bridge the gap between themselves and Swansea, who currently sit 17th, Villa fans would like nothing better than to start with a win against their rivals this afternoon.
All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings. You can follow all the scores, statistics, live player and team ratings with the new free-to-download WhoScored iOS app.