WEST HAM UNITED v ASTON VILLA
BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
SATURDAY 18 AUGUST 2012
KICK-OFF: 3PM
REFEREE: MIKE DEAN

FULL AUDIO AND TEXT COMMENTARY - WEST HAM TV

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Match Sponsor

• West Ham United would like to welcome Lycamobile as Saturday's Match Sponsor. Lycamobile is Europe's largest mobile virtual network operator, helping more than eight million customers across 14 countries make affordable international calls. For more information about Lycamobile, click here.

Lycamobile


Matchball Sponsor

West Ham United would like to welcome Season Cars as Saturday's Matchball Sponsor. Season Cars provide luxury and prestige car hire across the capital and beyond from their east London base. For more information about Season Cars, click here.

Season Cars

Introduction

• West Ham United welcome Aston Villa to the Boleyn Ground for the first game of the Barclays Premier League 2012/13 season.

• The Hammers have lost just once at the Boleyn Ground in 2012 and will be hoping to keep up their superb record as they enter the top flight.

• As many as five summer signings could be making their competitive debut for the club, with Jussi Jaaskelainen, Stephen Henderson, Mohamed Diame, Alou Diarra and Modibo Maiga all hoping to feature.

• George McCartney has signed a permanent deal after spending last season on loan in east London from Sunderland and could make his third 'debut' for the club, while James Collins could make his second 'debut' following a three-year spell with Saturday's visitors Aston Villa.

• The new signings have been handed the following squad numbers - 3 George McCartney, 11 Mobido Maiga, 13 Stephen Henderson, 19 James Collins, 21 Mohamed Diame, 22 Jussi Jaaskelainen, 23 Alou Diarra, 30 Raphael Spiegel.

• The Hammers clash with Aston Villa is one of six Barclays Premier League ties kicking-off at 3pm on Saturday, the other games are as follows: Arsenal v Sunderland, Fulham v Norwich, QPR v Swansea, Reading v Stoke, West Bromwich Albion v Liverpool and Newcastle v Tottenham.

Last time out

Pre-season match
Friday 10 August 2012
SC Braga 1-1 West Ham United
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel (Potts 79), Reid, Collins (O'Neil 76), O'Brien, Tomkins, Diame (Moncur 84), Noble, Vaz Te, Maiga, Cole (Taylor 71)
Sub not used: Henderson
Goal: Reid 89

Pre-season match
Saturday 11 August 2012
Werder Bremen 3-3 Aston Villa
Aston Villa: Given, Lichaj, Clark, Vlaar, Stevens (Bannan 65), Holman (Ireland 65), El Ahmadi, Delph, N'Zogbia (Gardner 77), Bent, Weimann
Subs not used: Marshall, Guzan, Baker
Goals: Bent 16, 68, Clark 22

Previous meeting

• The last meeting between the two sides came in a Barclays Premier League fixture at the Boleyn Ground on 16 April 2011. The match ended in a 2-1 defeat for West Ham United as substitute Gabriel Agbonlahor scored an injury-time winner. The Hammers got off to the best possible start when on-loan striker Robbie Keane opened the scoring within two minutes. After going behind, Villa struck back in the 36th minute when Bent headed home. Carlton Cole had an appeal for a penalty turned down before the Hammers' misery was compounded in added-time when Agbonlahor headed home the winner.

West Ham United: Green, Jacobsen, Upson, Bridge, Da Costa (Gabbidon 14), Noble, O'Neil (Ba 63), Hitzlsperger, Cole, Keane, Obinna (Hines 58)
Subs not used: Boffin, Spector, Piquionne, Boa Morte~
Goal: Keane 2

Aston Villa: Friedel, Dunne, Young, Walker, Collins, Downing, Reo-Coker, Young, Petrov, Bent, Heskey (Agbonlahor 78)
Subs not used: Marshall, Cuellar, Pires, Clark, Makoun, Albrighton
Goals: Bent 36, Agbonlahor 90


Background

• West Ham United and Aston Villa have met 105 times in total in competitive fixtures. Each club has tasted victory on 37 occasions, with 31 draws.

• The Hammers travelled to Villa Park exactly 50 years ago today on 18 August 1962. Unfortunately, Aston Villa ran out 3-1 Division One winners in front of 37,000 fans, with Johnny Byrne bagging the visitors' goal.

• Today's game is the second time in three seasons that West Ham United and Aston Villa have met on the opening day. Villa won 3-0 at Villa Park on 14 August 2010.

• The first-ever meeting between the two clubs proved to be a forgettable one for West Ham United, who were beaten 5-0 at Villa Park in the FA Cup second round on 1 February 1913.

• West Ham United's largest victory over Aston Villa came in Division One on 30 August 1958, when the newly-promoted Hammers won 7-2 at the Boleyn Ground. A 30,506-strong crowd saw John Dick, Vic Keeble and Malcolm Musgrove scored twice apiece and Bill Lansdowne once.

• Sam Allardyce faced Aston Villa five times as a manager during the 2009/10 season, when his Blackburn Rovers side were eliminated from the FA Cup and League Cup by the Villans.

• West Ham United's all-time record goalscorer Vic Watson netted 18 goals in 15 appearances against Aston Villa, including three hat-tricks in November 1926, December 1929 and April 1930.

• Marlon Harewood scored West Ham United's most-recent Premier League hat-trick when he bagged three times in a 4-0 home win over Aston Villa on 12 September 2005. He later went on to play for Villa.

• A total of 13 West Ham United players have made their debuts against today's opponents Aston Villa - Alfred Earl, Ernest England, Alvin Martin, Carlos Tevez, Winston Reid, Pablo Barrera, Frederic Piquionne, Archibald Macauley, Ian Crawford, Bill Green, Craig Forrest, Paulo Alves and Matthew Upson.


Last six metings
(Premier League unless stated)

16 April 2011 - West Ham United 1-2 Aston Villa
14 August 2010 - Aston Villa 3-0 West Ham United
17 January 2010 - Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham United
4 November 2009 - West Ham United 2-1 Aston Villa
18 April 2009 - Aston Villa 1-1 West Ham United
21 December 2008 - West Ham United 0-1 Aston Villa

Overall record v Aston Villa (all competitions) W 37 D 31 L 37


Ten-year record

West Ham United

2011/12 Championship 3rd (86 points - promoted via Play-Offs)
2010/11 Premier League 20th (33 points)
2009/10 Premier League 17th (35 points)
2008/09 Premier League 9th (51 points)
2007/08 Premier League 10th (49 points)
2006/07 Premier League 15th (41 points)
2005/06 Premier League 9th (55 points)
2004/05 Championship 6th (73 points - promoted via Play-Offs)
2003/04 Championship 4th (74 points)
2002/03 Premier League 18th (42 points - relegated to Championship)
2001/02 Premier League 7th (53 points)
2000/01 Premier League 15th (42 points)

Aston Villa

2011/12 Premier League 16th (38 points)
2010/11 Premier League 9th (48 points)
2009/10 Premier League 6th (64 points)
2008/09 Premier League 6th (62 points)
2007/08 Premier League 6th (60 points)
2006/07 Premier League 11th (50 points)
2005/06 Premier League 16th (42 points)
2004/05 Premier League 10th (47 points)
2003/04 Premier League 6th (56 points)
2002/03 Premier League 16th (45 points)
2001/02 Premier League 8th (50 points)
2000/01 Premier League 8th (54 points)


Referee

• Saturday's referee is Mike Dean.

• Select Group official Dean, 44, took charge of just one West Ham United fixture last season - the 2-0 npower Championship victory at Middlesbrough on 29 November 2011.

• The previous campaign, Dean was the man in the middle for six Hammers fixtures - most notably the 3-2 Barclays Premier League defeat at Wigan Athletic on 15 May that confirmed the club's relegation. That season, the experienced referee also took charge of West Ham's 3-0 opening-day defeat at today's opponents Aston Villa. In all, Dean has taken charge of 29 West Ham fixtures.

• Dean refereed Aston Villa just once last term - a 1-1 home draw with Stoke City on 9 April 2012 - but has taken charge of the Midlands side 28 times during his career.

• He began refereeing in 1985, starting out his career in senior football in the Northern Premier League.

• In 2004, Dean took charge of his first international match, a friendly between the Netherlands and Republic of Ireland at Amsterdam Arena. That same year, he took control of the FA Community Shield between Arsenal and Manchester United.

• In May 2006, he refereed the Championship play-off final between Leeds United and Watford at the Millennium Stadium. In 2008, he was in charge for the FA Cup final between Portsmouth and Cardiff City at Wembley Stadium.


Team news

• As many as nine players could make their competitive debuts for their respective new clubs at the Boleyn Ground this weekend - Jussi Jaaskelainen, Stephen Henderson, Mohamed Diame, Alou Diarra and Modibo Maiga for West Ham United and Matthew Lowton, Ron Vlaar, Karim El Ahmadi and Brett Holman for Aston Villa.

• Jack Collison is unlikely to play after failing to feature in any of the Hammers pre-season games as he continues to manage his long-term knee issues. However, captain Kevin Nolan is hoping to return after missing the final pre-season match at SC Braga with a toe problem suffered at Colchester United last month.

• France midfielder Alou Diarra is yet to make an appearance for the Hammers, having signed on the day of the final pre-season game in Braga. However, he has trained with his new team-mates all week and could be named in the matchday squad.


Old boys


• James Collins swapped east London for Birmingham on 1 September 2009 for an undisclosed fee after making 65 appearances in all competitions for West Ham United, scoring two goals. The Wales centre-back returned to West Ham on 1 August, having scored six goals in 109 games for the Villans.

• Carlton Cole would be playing against the team where he spent the 2004/05 season on loan. Cole scored three goals in 30 league and cup appearances for Aston Villa.

• Among the other players who have represented both clubs are Billy Askew, Alan Curbishley, Mervyn Day, Marlon Harewood, Thomas Hitzlsperger, Ray Houghton, David James, Fred Norris, Nigel Reo-Coker, Tony Scott, Les Sealey, Nolberto Solano, Tommy Southren, David Unsworth and Phil Woosnam.


General Information

• Fewer than 1,000 tickets for Saturday's season-opener are still available and can be purchased online here.

• The weather forecast for Saturday is for sunny intervals with a maximum temperature of 27C (81F).

• There are no planned engineering works on the London Underground this weekend.