Aston Villa travel to Upton Park this weekend to face 15th place West Ham. Last weekend, Aston Villa lost 2-0 to Everton at home while West Ham managed to snatch a 0-0 draw against Swansea. Goals have been a problem for both sides, West Ham are without a fit striker with Andy Carroll still ruled out injured, Petric out, Vaz Te injured himself last week and newly re-signed forward Carlton Cole isn’t match fit. Aston Villa meanwhile, have failed to score a goal in their last three games. Both teams have been suffering from a rather inconsistent season. West Ham have managed to beat Cardiff and Tottenham this year, but have struggled to beat Stoke and Hull. Aston Villa have too managed to pull of marvelous victories against Arsenal and Man. City but have struggled to win at home.
Thus it could appear that Aston Villa have an advantage coming into this fixture, Aston Villa play better on the counter and have managed to pick up more points away than at home. Lambert will have to shuffle his team, especially in the left-back position with both Joe Bennett and Antonio Luna out injured. Whilst, Sam Allardyce may have to play with 6 midfielders against Aston Villa.
West Ham are without winger Matthew Taylor who obtained a knock against Burnley. Petric is also out injured for a couple weeks with an aggravated muscle. Ricardo Vaz Te dislocated his shoulder against Swansea last weekend. Carlton Cole is unlikely to start against Aston Villa this weekend as he isn’t match fit. But should be able to come on from the bench.
Paul Lambert will be without a trio of players, Gabriel Agbonlahor (ankle) and Antonio Luna (thigh) suffered injuries last weekend and will miss out. Joe Bennett has been ruled out with a back injury.
West Ham United have lost only two of their last 13 Barclays Premier League home games against Aston Villa (W4 D7).
The Villans have lost just one of their last six away games, winning three and drawing two.
West Ham will be trying to avoid a fourth successive top-flight home defeat. This last happened in January 2006.
Stewart Downing has created 16 chances without a single assist this season.
Aston Villa are looking to keep three successive clean sheets away from home for the first time since March 2010.
If Christian Benteke fails to score in this game it will be the longest spell without a Premier League goal since last November (four games).
West Ham 0-1 Aston Villa
I reckon Aston Villa can win this game. Lambert needs to ensure that he takes this opportunity to have a go at West Ham. We know that they struggle to score goals, and as a result, we don’t need to play too defensively. With Agbonlahor out, I reckon we’ll see a different formation against the Hammers. I think Bacuna will be pushed into the midfield and Lowton will come back into the side this week. I’m just unsure who will partner Benteke, it’s going to be either Weimann or Kozak.