West Ham vs Aston Villa – Pre-game Assessment

Without knowing the background, a fan might consider this fixture as one that should definitely go to the home side.  West Ham are currently in 6th position, the place they ended up last season (beating out Spurs, who again are in 7th position).  Thanks to their success last year West Ham are enjoying the benefits of European football.

Unfortunately, the Hammers lack the financial stability to keep building their squad or to maintain an investment level with the teams around them (e.g., Man. U. and Spurs).  With a thin squad, they are unable to alternate starters which the extra Europa games necessitates, and their form is deteriorating.

Our Villans, meanwhile, are in 9th position (up from 13th in three weeks) and nine points behind West Ham with a game in hand.  That gives them a real incentive to win and immediately become part of the mix of those competing for European soccer.

They also have the motivation that the reverse fixture at Villa Park provides, an embarrassing 4-1 loss at home in the middle of the team’s pre-Gerrard spiral. Of course, Konsa’s somewhat harsh red card in that game only adds piquancy.  Does Gerrard bring him back into the starting eleven given Ezri’s motivation to make up or does Gerrard go with Calum Chambers who contributed at both ends of the field against Leeds on Thursday.

Either way, our Villans are playing with a great deal of confidence, have everything to play for and nothing to distract them.  The Hammers are having a hard time scoring goals with only three in their last five games.  Our Villans, during the same number of games, have scored nine goals (all in their last three games).

I predict that we will again prevail.  West Ham 1, Aston Villa 3


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