West Ham vs Aston Villa by Luke
West Ham had a nice chance to surprise weakened Liverpool away from home in FA Cup game on Saturday evening, but the team showed to be way more passive than it was actually needed and they looked content with a goalless draw result, while they left the ball possession to the Reds who did create more chances, but couldn't score. This way, they'll have to play re-match game at West Ham's stadium on 9th February.
Back to Premier League duties, the team will want to get a victory in order to get their first one after three matches in all competitions, while the team actually had a tough schedule - next to draw against Liverpool, they had a draw game at home against Manchester City 2:2 and a defeat against Newcastle on the road 2:1. The team remained at sixth position, just a point less than fifth placed Manchester and naturally, a victory here is their only target. Hosts should be playing in 4-3-3 formation with Payet, Antonio and Valencia upfront. They continue to miss right defender Carl Jenkinson (20/2) and midfielder Manuel Lanzini (14/4), but also strikers Andy Carroll (13/3) and Diafra Sakho (12/3). Defenders James Tomkins and Cheikhou Kouyat received knocks in the Cup game and remain doubtful for this one, but with chances to play. Defensie midfielder Mark Noble recovered from illness.
Aston villa got easily outplayed by Manchester City on Saturday evening as a part of 1/64 finals of FA Cup. Visitors took the lead already in fourth minute, doubling up the lead in 24th, both goals scored via Iheanacho, who scored once more in 74th, with Sterling locking the game two minutes later. Villans actually tried to do something more and had decent amount of ball possession, but without real attacking power they couldn't do anything more.
Despite three matches without defeat in a row, Aston Villa remained at the rock bottom position, having six points less than Sunderland on 19th and ten points less than first safely placed side Norwich. No matter what they do, it's really hard to see them staying in Premier League this season, since the team hardly wins, while their individual quality isn't at the level when they could easily overcome that ten points gap. Away from home the team has only one victory this season, three draws and eight defeats - arguably they are the worst travellers and a point here would represent and a positive result for them. Left full back Jordan Amavi (10/0) is injured, same as forwards Adama Traore (9/0) and Rudy Gestede (22/4), offensive midfielder Libor Kozak (4/0) and right full back Alan Hutton (17/0). Defensive midfielders Carlos Sanchez (18/0) and Ashley Westwood (18/0) are both doubtful. They should also be playing in 4-3-3 formation with Gil, Ayew and Grealish upfront.
West Ham may have missed their chance against Liverpool in a Cup game, but I beleive the team will be up to the task this time. Villans seem to be improving of late, but this game should be too much for them. West Ham has plenty of potential and I can't see them making another setback at home.