In-form West Ham, travel up to Villa Park to look for another win on the road...
The Hammers are fresh from securing their place in the EFL Cup quarter finals courtesy of a penalty shoot-out success against Manchester City in midweek.
David Moyes’ team, who are yet to lose away in the league this term, started the weekend in fourth place having won their last two top-flight games 1-0.
Last time out, against Villa, at Villa Park, West Ham came away 3-1 winners. With Jesse Lingard absolutely running riot, scoring 2 goals against Dean Smith's side.
This season, West Ham line-up starting with a 4-2-3-1, with Rice and Soucek playing in the defensive pivot. Usually it is a 4 at the back, with Johnson, Zouma, Ogbonna, Creswell.
Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals, make up the attacking midfield roles. The main man Antonio starts up top for the Hammers.
West Ham are unbeaten in their last seven away Premier League matches (W5 D2), last having a longer unbeaten run on the road in the top-flight between August and November 1986 (eight in a row).
David Moyes saw Vladimír Coufal return to action in the Carabao Cup in midweek, while Ryan Fredericks is working his way back from injury and Alex Kral is available again after testing positive for COVID.
Aston Villa, where do we start?
After a run of 3 losses in a row, Dean Smith is under a little bit of pressure to improve them results by the fans.
A 3-1 loss to Arsenal last time out, the only positive from that game, being Jacob Ramsey's performance. He came on and changed the game, scoring his first Aston Villa goal aswell!
A poor performance, as Arsenal run riot over Villa.
Dean Smith had got asked about the formation/system after the game, and he dismissed them by saying "it's not the system"
Aston Villa striker Danny Ings has faced West Ham in the Premier League more often without ever scoring than he has any other opponent (9 games). Indeed, he’s also ended on the losing side in eight of his nine appearances against the Hammers in the top-flight, drawing the other. Will that stat change on Sunday?
To have a chance of winning this game a change back to a 4-3-3 will be needed, dropping one of the CB's for an extra attacking player, will give us the attacking freedom, we have clearly needed the last few games.
Dean Smith confirmed on Friday that he will be without Morgan Sanson and Jaden-Philogene-Bidace, who are both side-lined with illness.
Emi Martinez is available after returning to Argentina for personal reasons, while Trezeguet is still working his way back to full fitness.
"They’re in a really good moment. They’re on the back of two Premier League victories against Everton and Tottenham and a cup win against Manchester City. They’re a very good team with a very good coach. I’m full of respect for David Moyes and how well he’s done at West Ham. He’s got them playing in Europe this season and they’re playing very well. I expect a tough game, but it’s one we’re looking forward too. They’ve got a very good squad and a way of playing that suits their players. They have a good understanding, a good organisation and good players. When you’ve got those ingredients for a good team, I expected them to be pushing again this season.”
Dean Smith to VillaTV.
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