The Aston Villa Appetiser: Relegation Crunch Time vs The Hammers


West Ham came into the Premier League with a momentum typical of newly-promoted teams. However, in their recent fixtures, Sam Allardyce’s team have struggled away from home, and might be looking at this game to get back on track. Yet surely Villa’s woeful home form can’t continue?


Match Difficulty Grade


B (but an A for importance)   There is a lot at stake ahead of this fixture for Lambert’s men. The results have gone in Villa’s favour around the bottom of the table, so a win would propel the club out of the relegation zone. This would be a massive morale boost and could ultimately prove crucial, with tough games ahead. Whether or not Villa will be able to cope with the pressure remains to be seen. West Ham will be desperate for all three points, and will be very much aware of our set-piece weakness.


Form is Temporary


Current Premier League form table (last six games) – Aston Villa – 18th / West Ham – 11th

Aston Villa: Last five Premier League matches at home: D 1, L 4

West Ham: Last five Premier League matches away: D 1, L 4

In the last five league meetings at Villa Park, Villa have won three and drawn two.


Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet


With Andy Carroll back and three points from their last fixture, West Ham will undoubtedly come into this game with considerable confidence. Allardyce’s team are handy with set-pieces and will fancy their chances against a Villa side who are winless in their last eight league matches. The Hammers might have lost their way a little but it is worth noting that six of their eight wins have came at the hands of clubs in the bottom half of the Premier League table. Oh, and just to throw a slightly weird fact into the mix, Villa haven’t won on a Sunday since 2011.


What We Pray the Football Gods Will Provide


Consistency is key. For all our attacking ability we need to be able to defend our leads. If we’d held out at the likes of West Brom and Everton we’d be in a much different position to the one we find ourselves in now. Also, we only saw a glimpse of one of our new signings at Goodison Park. Will this be the first time we see how Simon Dawkins copes with the pace of the Premier League? Both Dawkins and Sylla need to make instant impacts. If N’Zogbia and Agbonlahor can continue their recent form it should contribute to a much overdue Villa Park victory.


Why Villa are Totally 100% Going to Win


Very few teams have taken a point from Goodison Park this season, nevermind score three goals there. Clutching at straws it may be, and disappointing as it was to throw away a leading position in this manner, surely this fact is cause for cautious optimism? Christian Benteke. Need I say more? There’s been a lot of talk/nonsense (?) about Benteke seeking an exit at the end of the season, but focusing on the present, we have the makings of a prolific goal-scorer on our hands. Paul Lambert has stated that we need five or six wins to avoid relegation, and given the way other results have gone this weekend, this can be a vital springboard. Besides, West Ham surely can’t do the double on us can they? Can they? To say we are due a win would be a massive understatement. UTV.


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