To be played on Saturday 2nd November 2013 at 15:00 at Upton Park
It will be a tight game with neither wanting to go all out for the win and risk being caught out at the other end.
Being such a close game to call I would expect the strength of Villa’s attacking players to be the difference in the end. It is hard to see Benteke not having any joy against the West Ham defence.
You can’t rule out the home side but it will be difficult for them to keep the big Belgian striker quiet.
West Ham will be without James Collins, Andy Carroll and Ricardo Vaz Te through injury. These three players will be out until at least the end of November.
Aston Villa don’t have the same volume of injury problems but they could see the return of midfielder Gary Gardener, who has been missing with a back problem.
West Ham’s home record: Played 4, Won 1, Drawn 0, Lost 3, Goals For 5, Goals Against 7
Astonn Villa’s away record: Played 4, Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 1, Goals For 5, Goals Against 3
West Ham had 33% of the possession in their last match. A 0-0 draw at Swansea
Aston Villa had 47% of the possession in their last match. A 2-0 loss at home to Everton
West Ham’s last six games: 1 win, 2 draws, 3 losses
Aston Villa’s last six games: 2 wins, 1 draw, 3 losses
Five players to watch:
Villa’s talismanic striker has only recently returned from injury but he was still causing problems for defences last week against Everton. Now he has shaken off the rust you can expect to get back to his usual form against West Ham.
Despite the loss to Everton, Brad Guzan once again kept his team in the game and this week he won’t be facing as much attacking talent although he will still need to be on top form as you can see the home side creating some goal scoring opportunities.
Morrison has impressed so far this season and Hammers fans will expect him to continue this form against Aston Villa on Saturday afternoon. He will forever be remembered by West Ham fans for scoring that solo goal against Tottenham but he can’t rest on his laurels so he has to continue his development.
Cole was released by West Ham in the summer but a striker shortage meant that the former England international was re-signed. With Andy Carroll out for an extended period of time he will become very important to the Hammers especially now that Ricardo Vaz Te is out with a dislocated shoulder.
Villa’s captain will need to inspire his team on to better form after a poor run over the last few games. Their win at Arsenal on the first day of the season seems like a lifetime ago. He will need to be strong in defence and pose a threat in attack from set pieces.
Last time they met:
Aston Villa 2-1 West Ham – Sunday 10th February 2013, Villa Park
Goals from Christian Benteke and Charles N’Zogbia gave Aston Villa all three points against West Ham.
All the goals were scored in the last twenty minutes of the match. Villa fought off a late West Ham onslaught after Ashley Westwood had put the ball in his own net.
Brad Guzan pulled off two stoppage time saves to deny Kevin Nolan and Carlton Cole to preserve the win, Villa’s first since a December win against Liverpool.
What is your prediction for the game?
image: © Tony Austin