By Paul Brown
Brad Guzan says Ron Vlaar is just the sort of person to have out on the pitch for derby day.
Guzan has been thoroughly impressed with Vlaar's leadership skills and also his combative qualities.
Villa's USA stopper thinks he will be a major asset for Villa against the Baggies.
He said: "Ron has been tremendous. He's an international defender who has played at the highest level. His ability speaks for itself.
"He has commitment, strength and understanding of the game. What he's brought to the team has been massive.
"He's a true competitor - a real warrior, a real fighter. You need that in the Premier League.
"He's very vocal and a real organiser too. That's even more important when you have new faces like we have.Ron brings that to the table.
"It's always good to have a defender who organises - a guy who reiterates positions to help things before they happen."
With Vlaar installed as captain, Paul Lambert hopes less responsibility will lead to more goals for Darren Bent.
Guzan thinks this will definitely be the case.
He added: "When Benty was captain he did a fantastic job for us too.
"He leads by example in terms of scoring goals and I think that's what the manager alluded to when he spoke about Ron taking on the armband.
"He wants Benty to focus fully on getting those goals he's renowned for. I have every confidence his goals will flow!"
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