Villa’s six-win hunt starts with Baggies and ends with a big team

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Aston Villa have 11 games to survive another Premier League relegation fight. Their manager, Tim Sherwood, reckons six wins will be enough to prolong their top-flight status. He is still waiting for his first after two games in charge.

When the man with Tottenham Hotspur’s best win percentage took the reins at Villa Park he would have most likely picked out the six teams he felt his new side were capable of beating. Two of them have just passed by with defeat.

A 2-1 loss to Stoke was followed by a 1-0 reverse away to Newcastle, despite the Midlands club enjoying the better of proceedings. Sherwood’s cross hairs must now adjust slightly, with just four “beatable” sides remaining on Villa’s schedule.

The latter three are Sunderland away, Queens Park Rangers at home and Burnley, also at home, on the last day of the season. West Brom’s visit to Villa Park on Tuesday night kicks off the quartet.

Sherwood’s club are slim 8/5 favourites to win the clash and the three points are much needed. Not only would it eat into the eight-point advantage the Baggies hold over Villa, but it would lift Ron Vlaar and co out of the relegation zone for the first time in three matches, ending a seven-game losing streak.

Claim victory and all of a sudden the six-win target looks achievable, but still two triumphs must be found from somewhere.

Villa face Swansea, Manchester United, Spurs, Manchester City, Everton, West Ham and Southampton in their remaining fixtures. For a club with just five wins all season, picking two to topple from that list is like finding a pound coin on a floor full of party-popper bottoms.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.