West Ham United vs Aston Villa: Preview and Prediction

West Ham United will host Aston Villa at the London Stadium on Sunday, looking to build on their recent run of form.

West Ham United are unbeaten in their last three league matches, and they are up to seventh in the league table ahead of the visit of Aston Villa. They will look to push for European qualification and cannot afford to drop points here.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa are fourth in the standings, but they were beaten by Tottenham Hotspur in their last league game. They will need to bounce back strongly if they want to keep their Champions League qualification hopes alive. Aston Villa will be desperate for a win here, and this should be a cracking contest between two good teams.

Meanwhile, both teams clinched heavy wins in Europe earlier this week, with West Ham United beating SC Freiburg 5-0 to reach the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals and Aston Villa cruising to a 4-0 win over Ajax to reach the UEFA Europa Conference League Last Eight. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

West Ham United

West Ham United have a fully-fit squad to choose from, and they are likely to shape up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Alphonse Areola in goal. Vladimir Coufal and Aaron Cresswell will be deployed as the full-backs. They will look to contribute at both ends of the pitch. Konstantinos Mavropanos will start at the heart of the defence alongside Kurt Zouma.

As for the midfield unit, Tomas Soucek will start alongside Edson Alvarez in the double pivot. The two players will look to break up opposition attacks and win the ball back for their team.

Lucas Paqueta will start as the central attacking midfielder, and he will look to link the midfield with the attack. Jarrod Bowen and Mohammed Kudus will likely be deployed in the wide areas, with Michail Antonio leading the line for West Ham.

Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Mavropanos, Cresswell; Alvarez, Soucek; Kudus, Paqueta, Bowen; Antonio

Aston Villa

Aston Villa will be without John McGinn, who is suspended after his dismissal against Tottenham. Boubacar Kamara, Emiliano Buendia, and Tyrone Mings are all long-term absentees, and they are not expected to play again this season because of knee injuries. Diego Carlos has a thigh problem, and he is expected to return later this month.

Aston Villa will shape up in a 4-4-2 formation, with Emiliano Martinez in goal. Matty Cash and Alex Moreno will be deployed as the full-backs here, and they will look help out defensively and assist during counter-attacks. Ezri Konsa will form the central defensive pairing alongside Pau Torres.

Leon Bailey and Nicolo Zaniolo should be deployed as the wingers here, and they will look to add creativity and drive to the side from the wide areas. Douglas Luiz will start in the middle of the park along with Youri Tielemans. Finally, Ollie Watkins will lead the line for Aston Villa along with Moussa Diaby despite picking up a knock in the midweek fixture against Ajax.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Moreno; Zaniolo, Tielemans, Luiz, Bailey; Diaby, Watkins

Key Stats

  • West Ham United are undefeated in their last nine home matches against Aston Villa in all competitions.
  • West Ham have picked up two wins from their last six league matches.
  • Aston Villa have picked up four wins from the last six league matches.
  • 20 goals have been scored in the last six matches between these two teams.
  • Both teams have scored in five of the last six meetings between these two teams.

Player to Watch

Douglas Luiz

Embed from Getty Images

Aston Villa will need someone to control the tempo of the game and dominate proceedings in the middle of the park against West Ham United away from home. So, the 25-year-old Brazilian will be a key player for them.

Luiz has been outstanding in recent weeks, and he will look to control the game in the midfield and chip in with goals and creativity as well. He has nine goals and five assists to his name across all competitions, and the Brazilian could help Aston Villa dominate the game.


West Ham United 1-2 Aston Villa

On paper, the West Midlands club are certainly the better team here, and they will be desperate for a victory. With Tottenham breathing down their necks, Aston Villa cannot afford to drop points here. Meanwhile, West Ham are going through a purple patch as well.

This is likely to be a close contest, but the away side have enough quality to edge this one eventually. A narrow away win is on the cards for Aston Villa here. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-1 victory for Unai Emery and his charges.

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