Craig Gardner rates West Bromwich Albion ahead of Aston Villa as the bigger force.

The former Villan signed for the Baggies this summer from Sunderland.

"We're going out spending £10million on a striker and bringing in Joleon (Lescott) and other players who Premier League teams are after," says Gardner to the Daily Mail. "They're choosing us. I think West Brom are on the up.

"When I was there Villa had Gareth Barry, Ashley Young, John Carew, Stiliyan Petrov, James Milner, Stewart Downing. We had some top-class players and were fighting for the top six."

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