West Ham vs Aston Villa

November 7, 2014
By: Nemanja Lazarevic

High-flying West Ham may have ended the winning run at Britannia, but the Hammers will be feeling confident after coming from two goals behind to earn a draw against Stoke. Meanwhile, Aston Villa are desperate to end a six-match losing streak, but this is clearly a bad time to be facing Big Sam’s charges.

Sam Allardyce learns to adapt

Sam Allardyce had become one of the specialists for getting results with average sides over the years, even if his methods and playing style were often criticised by the media. It is for that reason that many believed he would fail big time when West Ham owners challenged him to adopt a more positive approach, but Big Sam has instead delivered big time. Some shrewd transfer dealings and the arrival of players like Song, Kouyate, Zarate, Valencia and Sakho certainly helped, but the manager has got to take the credit for rebuilding the squad in no time and getting them playing attractive attacking football. The match at Britannia Stadium showed just how high the spirits are at the moment, considering that West Ham came back from a losing position when their performance was far from impressive and scored two second-half goals to keep the good run going. And having defeated the likes of Liverpool, QPR and Manchester City in their previous three matches at Boleyn Ground, the Hammers are rightly considered odds-on favourites to defeat out-of-sorts Aston Villa on Saturday.

Star striker Diafra Sakho has returned from a shoulder injury, but Winston Reid faces a fitness test and Andy Carroll is definitely out.

Tough times for Aston Villa

Aston Villa were able to build on some promising displays from last season, having enjoyed a very good start to the new campaign. Paul Lambert’s side picked up impressive seven points from first three league matches, but they were always going to have problems during a difficult period that saw them face almost all top 6 sides. The Villans defeated Liverpool away in their first such fixture, but they then went on to lose next six games, while failing to score in five successive matches. Aston Villa came close to ending the barren run as they went into the final ten minutes of the Tottenham game with a one-goal advantage, but they eventually stayed empty-handed as Spurs scored two late goals. This was clearly another major blow to the player’s confidence that had already been at a very low level and I seriously doubt the Villans will be able to end the disappointing run of results against red-hot West Ham. With Christian Benteke now banned, the problems up front look set to continue, while the back line will have their work cut out for them against the likes of Sakho and Valencia.

Key footballers Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke are out through injury and suspension respectively, while Libor Kozak is also unavailable.


West Ham’s latest run of results is no accident as the Hammers actually have enough quality and experience to keep the rich vein of form, with the players also brimming with confidence. Meanwhile, Aston Villa have got more potential than they are showing, but with Benteke and Delph out, the losing run looks likely to continue.

Top pick: Home win   1.75 (3/4) @ Stan James

Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals   1.95 (19/20) @ bet365

Alternative pick 2: West Ham/West Ham   2.80 (9/5) @ Betfred

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