West Ham vs Aston Villa – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Sunday 12th March 2023
As part of our weekend Premier League predictions, we take a look at Aston Villa’s visit to the capital. Villa have 2 clean sheets in a row after conceding 11 goals in their previous 3. Three in a row? Read on with our West Ham vs Aston Villa prediction.
West Ham vs Aston Villa Match Preview
West Ham are in trouble. This isn’t an original talking point – they’ve been hovering around the relegation zone for much of the season in a hugely disappointing campaign in which they’ve failed to build upon qualification for European football in successive seasons. While Moyes’ men had a morale-boosting 4-0 home victory over Nottingham Forest a fortnight ago, an equally disappointing 4-0 away defeat to Brighton provides the feeling that West Ham are right back to square one. Although they’ve perhaps not been as poor in terms of performances as many of those teams around them at the foot of the table, it’s results that are of paramount importance.
With both Bournemouth and Everton picking up somewhat unexpected victories (particularly Bournemouth with their shock 1-0 win over Liverpool), the pressure is now squarely back on West Ham. While some may think that’s overstating the case with a third of the Premier League season to play, generally speaking, relegation-threatened teams average a point per game or thereabouts and therefore any win is typically difficult to attain. While West Ham have improved results at home lately, we must consider that Nottingham Forest and Everton are typically poor away from home, and Chelsea were in the midst of something of a crisis.
Aston Villa for their part have come through the other side of their mini-slump which saw them concede 11 goals in three matches to Leicester, Man City and Arsenal. Consecutive victories against Everton and Crystal Palace, with welcome clean sheets to boot, means the Midlands side have once again opened up a healthy gap between themselves and 12th position, which is a notable divide in the Premier League table. With four of the six teams directly above them losing last time out, Villa have a real opportunity here to put themselves in the mix for a European place.
Although they would of course be outsiders for such an achievement, we must consider that Villa’s current 11th position also includes a run of poor form under previous manager Steven Gerrard. Aston Villa have a highly respectable 25 points from their last 15 matches, which is equal to Spurs plus two sides receiving plenty of acclaim at the moment in Brentford and Brighton. Therefore, particularly if they can win here today, it would only be logical to conclude that Villa could yet have a good season.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Antonio
Will Not Play: Fabianski
Might Not Play: Dendoncker, Diego Carlos
Will Not Play: Coutinho, Kamara, Steer
West Ham vs Aston Villa Lineups (Predicted)
West Ham (4-2-3-1): Areola; Emerson, Aguerd, Ogbonna, Johnson; Soucek, Rice; Benrahma, Paqueta, Bowen; Ings
Aston Villa (4-4-1-1): Martinez; Romero, Mings, Konsa, Cash; Luiz, McGinn, Ramsey, Bailey; Buendia; Watkins
West Ham vs Aston Villa Analysis
West Ham Don’t Defend Well Against Inventive Teams
While we can admit that generally this could be applied to any side struggling defensively, it must be noted that many of West Ham’s positive results of late have come against teams that are a little stodgy in attack. Nottingham Forest, Chelsea (at the time), Newcastle who are in poor form and struggling for goals, Everton, a second-choice Brentford team and Leeds are all teams who are, or have been at times, teams who were struggling with the act of putting the ball in the back of the net. It’s more than that though – all of the above have had issues with clear chance creation.
West Ham notably struggled against Brighton, Man United, Spurs, first-choice Brentford and Arsenal, and all of those sides are capable of playing direct attacking football. We don’t mean long ball when we say direct, think more about going for the throat as opposed to percentage football and putting it in the mixer. Aston Villa can be a very dangerous team in transitions and it’s not difficult to see why – they have pace and invention abound in their forward unit of Buendia, Bailey and Watkins in particular.
Villa’s Recent Defensive Improvement
For a few games, Villa were uncharacteristically open. Under new manager Julen Lopetegui, Villa were gaining a reputation for greater defensive organisation and posing a major threat on the break. They had something of a wake-up call against Leicester, where yes they dominated possession but were caught time and time again by Leicester’s dangerous attackers. That’s the risk you take when you open up like that, yet Villa seem to have learned their lesson. Generally, we can excuse what happened against Arsenal (they were right in the game until late on) and City (who are at home and are expected to be superior in that scenario).
A 2-0 victory over an Everton side who are proving to be more difficult to play against these days at Goodison Park under Sean Dyche was an impressive result, and they managed to follow that up with a 1-0 victory over a Crystal Palace side who, although they are struggling for results in the Premier League, are an obdurate opponent and difficult to break down – just ask Pep Guardiola (we’re proud of getting an exact prediction for that 1-0 Man City victory). West Ham will be hard-pressed to create clear chances in this one, which doesn’t bode well as they don’t tend to score many goals anyway.
We feel that this Aston Villa side if they play to their capabilities and stick to their strengths as opposed to possession-heavy football which they’re not really suited for, can hurt West Ham repeatedly in transition as West Ham struggle against that kind of approach.
For their part, we don’t expect that West Ham will score more than once in this encounter. Yes, they put four past Nottingham Forest, but Forest are beyond woeful away from home and suffered something of a collapse with all four goals coming within a hectic 15-minute period. Villa, generally speaking, and with the obvious exception of that Leicester game, are more solid than that and won’t panic should they find themselves a goal down.
West Ham 1-2 Aston Villa
West Ham vs Aston Villa Betting Tip – Aston Villa Odds:
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