Aston Villa match preview

Barclays Premier League
West Ham United v Aston Villa
Boleyn Ground
Wednesday 4 November 2009
Referee: Steve Bennett


• West Ham United welcome Martin O'Neill's Aston Villa to the Boleyn Ground for their fifth home game of the season. After drawing both of their last two home games with Arsenal and Fulham 2-2, Gianfranco Zola's side will be looking to go one better against their visitors and secure their first home maximum of the season.

• The Hammers have only lost once in their last ten games at home to Villa, but that single defeat came last season when James Milner's deflected cross won the game for the visitors. However, they have not beaten the Midlanders for eight games - a run stretching back to September 2004.

• At the return game at Vila Park in April, Diego Tristan's header earned a 1-1 draw.

• Aston Villa have impressed on their travels so far this season. From the five games they have contested, they have lost just once, with two wins and two draws. They are unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions.

• The game was originally scheduled for the first week of the season, but Aston Villa's UEFA Europa League commitments meant it had to be rescheduled.

• West Ham go into the weekend 19th in the Barclays Premier League table, having collected seven points from nine matches. Their guests on Wednesday are eleven points and 12 places above.

• This is the 89th league meeting between the two sides. West Ham have won 31, Aston Villa have won 30 and there have been 27 draws.

Last time out

Saturday 31 October 2009
Barclays Premier League
Sunderland v West Ham United

West Ham United: Green, Spector, Tomkins, Upson, Ilunga, Behrami (Diamanti 67), Kovac, Noble, Collison, Franco (Hines 72), Cole
Subs not used: Kurucz, Faubert, Gabbidon, Jimenez, Stanislas
Goals: Franco (30), Cole (36).
Sent off: Kovac (87)

Saturday 31 October 2009
Barclays Premier League
Everton v Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Friedel, Warnock, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Sidwell, Milner (Carew, 45), Ashley Young, Petrov (Reo-Coker 89), Heskey, Agbonlahor
Subs not used: Luke Young, Guzan, Delph, Shorey, Beye
Goal: Carew (46)
Sent off: Cuellar (90)

Last meeting

The teams last met in April this year when Tristan's diving header cancelled out Emile Heskey's eleventh-minute opener. The teams that day were:

Aston Villa: Friedel, Luke Young, Davies, Cuellar, Shorey, Milner (Gardner 81), Petrov, Barry, Ashley Young, Heskey (Delfouneso 71), Carew
Subs not used: Guzan, Sidwell, Knight, Salifou, Reo-Coker
Goal: Heskey (11)

West Ham United: Green, Tomkins, Upson, Collins (Dyer 33), Ilunga, Neill, Boa Morte, Stanislas (Savio 74), Noble, Di Michele (Sears 81), Tristan
Subs not used: Lastuvka, Lopez, Payne, Hines
Goal: Tristan (85)

Head to head

Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)

18 April 2009 - Aston Vila 1-1 West Ham United
20 December 2008 - West Ham United 0-1 Aston Villa
11 May 2008 - West Ham United 2-2 Aston Villa
6 October 2007 - Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham United
3 February 2007 - Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham United
10 September 2006 - West Ham United 1-1 Aston Villa

Overall record v Aston Villa (all competitions) W 36 D 29 L 34

Next up

West Ham United have another home match on Sunday as they play host to Everton. Villa, meanwhile, play host to Bolton Wanderers the previous day.


• Wednesday's referee is Steve Bennett.

• Steve Bennett is 48 and has been a Premier League referee since 1999. Bennett began refereeing in 1984 before graduating to the Football League in 1995. He was appointed as an official FIFA referee in 2001 before retiring in 2006 at the compulsory age of 45.

• Bennett took charge of the 2005 League Cup final at the Millennium Stadium between Chelsea and Liverpool and the 2007 FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United.

• This will be his first West Ham United game of the season.

West Ham United

• West Ham United have not beaten Aston Villa in eight attempts since a Marlon Harewood hat-trick helped them to a 4-0 win at the Boleyn Ground in September 2005.

• However, the 1-0 defeat in the corresponding game last season was the first home league loss to Villa in ten matches. Their previous defeat was 4 December 1996, when Villa ran out 4-1 winners.

• Six players - Guille Franco, Junior Stanislas, Mark Noble, Matthew Upson (two), Alessandro Diamanti (two) and Carlton Cole (six) have got on the league scoresheet for the Hammers so far this season.

• Carlton Cole is the Hammers' leading scorer with six Premier League goals - just four short of the tally he managed in the whole of the 2008/09 campaign. However, he has still never scored two goals in a game for West Ham.

• Robert Green has played 98 consecutive Barclays Premier League games. All being well, he will reach his unbroken century when Everton visit the Boleyn Ground on Sunday.

• West Ham United's record win at home to Villa came on 30 August.1958, when they recorded a 7-2 victory.

• In 1931, the sides shared a 5-5 draw in an all-time classic game.

Aston Villa

• Aston Villa are without a win in three matches after three draws, but they managed to beat Chelsea in the game straight before that.

• They are also unbeaten in five matches since they left Blackburn Rovers with a 2-1 defeat on 26 September.

• Should they win on Wednesday, it would be their 50th win under Martin O'Neill. It would also be their 100th away win in the Premier League.

• Gabriel Agbonlahor leads the goalscoring charts for Villa, with six league goals.

• Aston Villa's biggest win at the Boleyn Ground came in November 1995, when they left east London with a 4-1 win.

Team news

• Gianfranco Zola will be without Kieron Dyer because of a hamstring injury and Radoslav Kovac through suspension for Wednesday's game.

• Scott Parker is expected to return in Kovac's place after he served a one-match suspension against Sunderland.

• Valon Behrami is expected to be fit after he was substituted at the Stadium of Light with a slight calf strain.

• Long-term absentee Luis Boa Morte (knee) has been back as steps up his rehab, although he is some months off a comeback. Dean Ashton (ankle) and Calum Davenport (leg) remain long-term absentees with no date set for their return.

• Aston Villa could be without Stiliyan Petrov and James Milner, who have shin and calf problems respectively, so former Hammer Nigel Reo-Coker and Fabian Delph are standing by as possible replacements.

• Luke Young or Habib Beye are expected to replace the suspended Cuellar at right-back.

• Definitely out are Craig Gardner, Stuart Downing and Curtis Davies, who are all injured.

Old boys

• James Collins will be facing West Ham United for the first time since leaving the Boleyn Ground in the summer. The central defender left swapped London for Birmingham on 1 September for an disclosed fee after making 65 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals.

• Carlton Cole will be playing against the team where he spent the 2004/05 season on loan. Cole scored three goals in 30 league and cup appearances (20 starts) for Villa.

• Aston Villa midfielder Nigel Reo-Coker spent three-and-a-half seasons at West Ham. The former MK Dons player made 142 appearances for the Hammers, scoring eleven goals, before making the switch to Villa in the summer of 2007 for a £7.5m fee.

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

General information

• For ticket information, click here.

• Saturday's weather forecast is for a cloudy evening, where temperatures could drop to 6C