West Ham vs Aston Villa – Pre-game Assessment

Sunday, March 17, 15:00 – London Stadium

Referee: Jarred Gillett

After the very dramatic events of last Sunday’s Premier League game for our Villans, when we lost our cool and the game against Spurs at Villa Park, one would normally expect us to limp into London Stadium and not put up a fight against a West Ham team who demolished Freiburg on the same pitch on Thursday.

But something very important happened for our Villans, also on Thursday.  That is, we rebounded at Villa Park to soundly eject Ajax from the Europa Conference League with a convincing 4-0 scoreline.  The relief amongst the players, the coaches, and the fans was palpable.

Still, extending our winning streak in London may be a bridge too far.  Not only will we be missing our captain and spiritual leader, John McGinn, but we may also be missing Ollie Watkins and Jacob Ramsey who have late fitness tests prior to gametime. 

This would be Ollie’s first time missing a Premier League start this season and it would be a significant handicap.  Not only, is Ollie a phenomenal goal-scorer (16 already in the PL this season) but a great provider of assists (10 already in the PL this season), but he is also back on defense for set-pieces and always tracking defenders as they try to distribute.

With Ramsey also doubtful, that will put a lot of pressure on Leon Bailey to be the main sparkplug, and he would be garnering lots of attention.

Meanwhile, West Ham have improved their line-up recently with the addition of Konstantinos Mavropanos at center back and Mohammed Kudus, a Ghanaian international, as an offensive midfielder with lots of goals in him.

Emery may have to start Iroegbunam to disrupt Kudus and company. 

Result Prediction:

Prediction:  West Ham 2, Aston Villa 2

Predicted Villa Line-Up:

Emery’s best-case scenario is the following.  Depending on the injury status of Watkins and Ramsey, Duran and Diaby are logical replacements.

Aston Villa: (4, 3, 2, 1) Martínez, Cash, Konsa, Torres, Moreno, Iroegbunam, Luiz, Tielemans, Bailey, Ramsey, Watkins.

Subs: Marschall, Digne, Lenglet, Diaby, Chambers, Rogers, Kellyman

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