Hammers Mark True Test of Villa Ambition
With the second international break of the season out of the way, it will be the next one in November that we’ll be able to properly take stock of Aston Villa’s season, so far. By then, almost a third of the season’s league games will have been played and Villa would have faced off in back-to-back Europa Conference League games with AZ Alkmaar to potentially determine their destiny in Europe.
Since the first international break, Villa have amassed an impressive 10 out of 12 points from a series of challenging games, including beating both Chelsea away and in-form Brighton. Villa will want a similar points return until the next one, and the upcoming clash against West Ham is probably the most pivotal fixture in terms of a progress check.
Villa have lost their last three home games against the Hammers and are without a win in their five at Villa Park against the East Londoners. The last win came from a Tom Cleverly winner back in 2015.
Currently, there can be few complaints with their fifth place in the league before this weekend’s fixtures, despite Unai Emery’s team rarely breaking into second gear. And lets not forget, only three of Villa’s eight games so far, have been at Villa Park.
The visit of the West Ham is a true test to Villa’s 10-game run of consecutive home wins. If the run continues, then there is a real chance that Villa could be top four when the November international break comes around.
With fifth place in the Premier League potentially leading to the Champions League this season, does opportunity knock for Villa (or even the Hammers), when it comes to the club’s ultimate aims of this season?
We’ll certainly know at the final whistle against the Hammers, if there is any such hope.
We preview such expectations and the West Ham game in the latest Something for the Weekend episode of the My Old Man Said podcast.
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David Michael – @myoldmansaid
Chris Budd – @BUDD_music