Preview and Prediction
Last season, the Villans and the Hammers were involved in a relegation battle. Their game almost at the end of the season was a decisive one and both teams eventually were saved. This season, they are competing for European place. West Ham is on the fifth collecting 35 points while Aston Villa is on the ninth with 32 points but having two games in hand gives them advantage in their campaign. Both will be squaring off in the midweek.
The teams’ previous games
Jack Grealish and Co managed to snatch a win over Southampton on the road last weekend by a single goal of Ross Barkley. They were rather lucky as well as VAR saved them from the potential penalty due to their handball and Danny Ings’ goal, which was disallowed due to his offside position.
West Ham, on the other hand, suffered a 1-3 loss at their home turf while hosting Liverpool. Mo Salah’s brace and Gini Wijnaldum’s strike put them behind before Craig Dawson scored a consolation goal before the final whistle.
Dean Smith will stick to his 4-2-3-1 formation with the transition to 4-3-3. Jack Grealish is the key man in the build-up who can shoot and penetrate as well as create spaces in the second and final third. Ollie Watkins will occupy the targetman role and Bertrand Traore could be playing out wide. In the middle, Ross Barkley, Douglas Luiz and John McGinn will be covering the area. Their new signing, Morgan Sanson can come off the bench at the second half.
David Moyes might be opting for 4-4-1-1 or 4-3-2-1 in this fixture. Marc Antonio will still the main man to count on to score, whereas Jarred Bowen and Pablo Fornals can play wide. In the midfield, Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice will be accompanied by Said Benrahma or Manuel Lanzini for creative option in the build-up. There are two names on the injury table, Arthur Masuaku and the goalie Darren Randolph.
Players to watch
Apart from the skipper Jack Grealish, who is the inevitable figure in the squad, Ollie Watkins is also the key man with his eight goals and two assists so far. Some other vital figures in the teams are John McGinn, the wing back Matthew Cash and the former Arsenal goalie, Emiliano Martinez.
The Czech international Tomas Soucek is surprisingly not only one of the top performers but also the top scorer of the team with seven goals. Meanwhile, the top assist provider is the wing back Aaron Cresswell with five assists. Another notable name to watch is the centre back, Craig Dawson who has bagged two goals in the past three games.
Aston Villa vs West Ham Prediction
Dean Smith’s men have more creative side with the likes of Bertrand Traore, Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley in the squad but Jarred Bowen and Co has been more aggressive. They still have Jesse Lindgard from the bench who could potentially make the difference. All in all, it’s a square game and both shall share spoils here.
The punters seem to be backing on the home side as they are priced to win higher at 5/4, whereas David Moyes’ win market is at 13/5, the exact same odds for the draw result.