Aston Villa will look to pick up their second win of the season when they host West Ham at the Villa Park in the Premier League on Monday night.
Dean Smith’s side are very likely to be involved in a relegation battle this season and find themselves in the bottom three before they kick off on Monday. They lost the opening games of the season to Tottenham and Bournemouth before beating Everton at home to register their first points of the season.
After a thumping win in the League Cup 2nd round against Crewe, the Villans lost to Crystal Palace in the last round. Thus, it has been a difficult start for the newly-promoted club and they would want to get out of the rut sooner than later.Embed from Getty Images
The visit of West Ham offers Villa a chance to get a result but it is easier said than done.
Meanwhile, West Ham have recovered comfortably well from the 5-0 thrashing they received at the hands of Manchester City in their first game of the season. They drew with Brighton 1-1 in the following game before picking up wins over Watford and Norwich in the next 2.Embed from Getty Images
Sebastian Haller is slowly coming into his own and the attack has started to click into gear, making Manuel Pellegrini’s side a strong attacking force, especially against lower teams.
Now, the Hammers could rise as high as 3rd in the league table, if they pick up a victory and a few other results go their way. Thus, the London club will aim for nothing short of 3 points from this one.
In terms of team news, Dean Smith will be without Jonathan Kodjia, who is ruled out with a face injury for a few more weeks. The duo of James Chester and Matt Targett are back in training but this game comes too soon for them.
Finally, winger Trezeguet is suspended for this game after getting sent off in the previous one against Crystal Palace and Anwar El Ghazi is expected to replace him.
Coming to West Ham, Winston Reid and Michail Antonio are the only 2 absentees with the latter expected to be out until the turn of the year.
Last Meeting and Aston Villa vs West Ham Prediction
The last meeting between the clubs was back in 2016, with West Ham winning at home. While the all-time head-to-head statistics are fairly even with the Hammers winning 40 to Villa’s 38, the former lost just once in the past 6 match-ups.
Those 6 games witnessed just 7 goals and 5 clean sheets were registered during that period. Further, Villa have scored just 4 goals in 4 games compared to West Ham’s 6 in the same period.
Thus, neither team have found their goal-scoring prowess yet and this promises to be another close encounter. However, Aston Villa’s search for a win could see them throw more numbers forward, giving the Hammers’ attackers space and freedom to utilize their superior ability and take all 3 points in the end.
Aston Villa Predicted XI: Heaton; Guilbert, Engels, Mings, Taylor; McGinn, Luiz, Grealish; Jota, El Ghazi, Wesley
West Ham Predicted XI: Fabianski; Fredericks, Diop, Ogbonna, Masuaku; Noble, Rice; Yarmolenko, Lanzini, Anderson; Haller