Aston Villa host West Ham United in the evening kick off on Sunday as they look to avoid a fourth straight defeat in the Premier League.
A worrying turn of form sees Villa sit three points above the bottom three on 10 points from 10 games which is exactly the same as the 2019-2020 season in which Dean Smith’s men survived on the final day of the season.
There has been a growing unrest on social media between a lot of supporters but the facts do not make great reading as Villa continue to be a frustratingly inconsistent team.
Four of the five defeats suffered have seen Villa concede 3 goals (Watford, Chelsea, Wolves and Arsenal) and they are also 15th for clear chances created and 17th for shots as well as 19th for controlled touches of the ball.
Possession has been a big issue in that Villa have looked panicked on the ball many times and too many unforced errors have led to goals conceded.
Another loss and unfortunately with the way media runs, I think the pressure will begin to mount.
West Ham United have had a fantastic start to the season and find themselves in fourth place with 17 points and have won all three group games in the Europa League.
Firmly backing up an excellent season last year, they are also in the final eight of the League Cup showing their strength and consistency on all fronts.
Last season saw West Ham do the double over Aston Villa with a 2-1 win at the London Stadium followed up with a 3-1 win at Villa Park.
David Moyes will be looking for a win that would take the Hammers to within two points of second place.
Aston Villa Team News
Emiliano Martinez will be available despite having to fly back to Argentina recently for personal reasons and Leon Bailey should be available to start although Dean Smith was quoted as saying that he would need to be ‘managed’ ahead of making a final decision on a starting place.
Morgan Sanson, Jaden Philogene-Bidace and Trezeguet will all be unavailable.
Possible starting line up:
Martinez, Targett, Mings, Konsa, Cash, Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey, Bailey, Ings, Watkins
West Ham United Team News
Alex Kral has been in training following an isolation period after contracting COVID and Vladimir Coufal is again available.
Other than those, it is a relatively unaffected squad for David Moyes to choose from.
Possible starting line up:
Fabianski, Cresswell, Ogbonna, Zouma, Johnson, Soucek, Rice, Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals, Antonio
One to watch:
Said Benrahma is today’s pick for the one to watch.
A player that was repeatedly linked with Villa whilst at Brentford, he is starting to show his worth in claret and blue but unfortunately for West Ham.
Incredible feet, creativity and the ability to score from a range of distances and angles, he can be a real menace and will be a primary source of many attacks today.
The Algerian playmaker has three goals and two assists in his opening nine Premier League games.
Head to Head record:
Aston Villa 38 wins, 34 Draws, West Ham United 42 wins
Last five meetings:
03 Feb 2021 – Aston Villa 1-3 West Ham United (Premier League)
30 Nov 2020 – West Ham United 2-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)
26 Jul 2020 – West Ham United 1-1 Aston Villa (Premier League)
16 Sep 2019 – Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham United (Premier League)
02 Feb 2016 – West Ham United 2-0 Aston Villa (Premier League)
AVILLAFAN MATCH PREDICTION
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but I can see this being another difficult assignment for Villa.
West Ham have looked strong and the opportunity to play a settled, consistent starting eleven will give them an advantage over a Villa side lacking in confidence.
Aston Villa 0-2 West Ham United