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Agbonlahor: Newboys prepared for West Brom derby heat
Gabby Agbonlahor backs derby debutants.
21st Nov 2013
Agbonlahor: Newboys prepared for West Brom derby heat


Harrison

Gabby Agbonlahor insists Villa's newboys will be ready for the pressure-cooker derby atmosphere against West Brom.

Several of Paul Lambert's squad are set to experience an English derby for the first time in Monday night's clash at The Hawthorns.

But most of the club's summer recruits are well-schooled in big domestic tussles.

Leandro Bacuna has represented Groningen in Holland's 'Derby of the North' against Heerenveen, while Libor Kozak was on the bench for Lazio in last season's titanic Coppa Italia final showdown with city rivals Roma.

In 2011-12, Antonio Luna played in one of La Liga's fiercest clashes - the Seville derby - when former club Sevilla faced Real Betis.

Aleksandar Tonev got a taste of Bulgaria's 'Eternal Derby' between CSKA Sofia and neighbours Levski early in his career, while the midfielder also featured for Lech Poznan against Legia Warsaw in one of Poland's hottest domestic duels.

Derby day king Agbonlahor believes these past experiences will help the newboys handle the heat of the West Midlands battle against the Baggies.

"It is always a big game against a local side and West Brom are the only one that is left in the league," he said.

"Every game is a big game but derby matches are massive for the players and the fans. The players know that.

"Lots of them have played in different derbies across the world in different leagues so they will be used to it and they will know how to handle the occasion."

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