The battle of the Clarets will see West Ham United trade tackles with Aston Villa at the London Stadium on Sunday, with the Hammers looking to continue their recent strong home form.
West Ham will be keen to make it four Premier League home games without defeat against a mid-table Villa side that are 11 points ahead in the table.
Looking to put last weekend’s 4-0 humiliation at Brighton & Hove Albion behind them, West Ham raced to a comfortable 2-0 victory over AEK Larnaca in midweek to place one foot in the quarter-finals of the Europa Conference League.
Michail Antonio’s first-half brace was enough to secure an important away win for the Hammers, who continue to wax strong in Europe while their domestic form remains nothing to write home about.
Last weekend’s whitewashing at the Amex Stadium was a new low for the troubled West Ham, who have struggled to put daylight between them and the drop zone all season.
However, Villa could present the Hammers with the perfect opportunity for the start of a resurgence, having won their last five league meetings with the Villans.
Joachim Andersen’s first-half howler was enough to present Villa with maximum points against Crystal Palace in their last game on home turf as Unai Emery continues to impress at Villa Park after claiming back-to-back victories for the third time since his appointment.
Not only have Villa won each of their last two league matches, but they have also won four of their previous seven, keeping three clean sheets in the process.
The Villains have taken 22 points from a possible 36 since the Spaniard’s arrival, winning seven of their 12 league games, and a top-half finish is well within their grasp this term.
West Ham United
West Ham are hovering dangerously above the drop zone after picking up just six wins from 25 games thus far (D5, L14) – only Leicester City and Southampton have suffered more defeats than the uninspiring Hammers, who are just two points above bottom club Bournemouth.
However, Moyes’ side have made the London Stadium a fortress since the start of the year, having picked up seven points from their last three home league games (W2, D1).
They have scored seven goals in front of their fans while conceding just once this year, so they will fancy their chances of recording another positive result on Sunday.
Moyes also boasts an impressive unbeaten record against the Villans, recording eight wins and five draws in his last 13 meetings with the clarets. The Scotsman has only won more league games against Fulham (17) than he has against the Villans (12).
Danny Ings scored six league goals for Villa before switching to West Ham and could be the first player to score for and against the Villans in the same league campaign.
Villa have scored at least one goal in each of their last 14 games across all competitions, so Emery’s men will be looking to make it three wins in a row for the first time since March last year.
However, they have struggled for consistency on their travels of late, recording four wins and four losses in their last eight away matches.
Another difficult trip to London could be on the cards as they have lost five of their last six league games in the capital.
Although they did win their last such visit 2-0 against Tottenham Hotspur back in January, they have not won consecutive away league games in the capital since November 2020.
No team has scored more league goals in the opening 15 minutes of games this season than Villa (9). The Villans have also conceded a league-high nine goals in this timeframe, but West Ham are the only team yet to score in this period.
Ollie Watkins has scored in each of his last three league games on the road, and another strike will see him become only the second Villan to do so in four consecutive games since Dwight Yorke between March and May 1998.
West Ham United vs Aston Villa Potential Line-ups
West Ham United (4-2-3-1): Alphonse Areola; Ben Johnson, Nayef Aguerd, Angelo Ogbonna, Emerson Palmieri; Tomas Soucek, Declan Rice; Jarrod Bowen, Lucas Paqueta, Said Benrahma; Danny Ings.
Aston Villa (4-2-3-1): Emiliano Martinez; Matty Cash, Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings, Alex Moreno; Douglas Luiz, John McGinn; Leon Bailey, Emiliano Buendia, Jacob Ramsey; Ollie Watkins.
How to Watch?
West Ham vs Villa, alongside all other fixtures in England’s top flight, is available to watch online via live Premier League streams.
West Ham United vs Aston Villa Prediction
Having recorded two wins and one draw in their last three league home games, West Ham will feel confident of picking up another positive result at the London Stadium, although Moyes’ side may have to settle for a draw against a solid Villa side.
West Ham United 1-1 Aston Villa
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