Aston Villa match preview

Barclays Premier League
Aston Villa v West Ham United
Villa Park
Sunday 17 January
Referee: Mike Jones


• West Ham United are set to play their first Barclays Premier League game of 2010 against Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday.

• There will be a minute's silence prior to kick-off in respect of those who died in the attack on the Togo team bus last week.

• Both sides' first scheduled league games of the new decade - for the Hammers a home game with Wolverhampton Wanderers and for the Villans a trip to Wigan Athletic - were postponed due to the wintery weather.

• A Boleyn Ground draw with Chelsea on 20 December, coupled with three points in the Boxing Day game with Portsmouth, moved the Hammers out of the bottom three and another maximum on Sunday could move Gianfranco Zola's side up to 13th in the table.

• This will be the second league meeting between the two sides this season and West Ham United's second 'return' fixture of 2009/10. The Hammers secured a dramatic last-minute victory courtesy of Zavon Hines' winner in the first game at the Boleyn Ground on 4 November.

• In the corresponding game last April, Diego Tristan's late header cancelled out Emile Heskey's eleventh-minute opener.

• This is the 90th league meeting between the two sides. West Ham have won 32, Aston Villa have won 30 and there have been 27 draws.

Last time out

Sunday 3 January 2009
FA Cup third round
West Ham United 1-2 Arsenal

West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Tomkins, Upson, Daprela, Kovac, Behrami, Stanislas (Edgar 88), Diamanti, Jimenez, Nouble (Sears 79)
Subs not used: Stech, 'Gala, Da Costa, Payne, Lee
Goal: Diamanti 45

Thursday 14 January 2009
Carling Cup semi-final
Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Aston Villa

Aston Villa: Guzan, Warnock, Cuellar, Dunne, Collins, Downing, Milner, Ashley Young , Petrov, Heskey (Sidwell 71), Agbonlahor
Subs not used Reo-Coker, Friedel, Luke Young, Carew, Delph, Beye
Goal: Milner 23

Last meeting

The teams last met at the Boleyn Ground at 4 November when substitute Zavon Hines scored a 93rd-minute winner to secure the Hammers all three points. Mark Noble had given the home side the lead from the penalty spot just before half time, before Robert Green saved Ashley Young's spot kick. The Villa winger made amends soon after with a curling 25-yard effort.

The teams that day were -
West Ham United: Green, Faubert, Da Costa, Upson, Ilunga (Spector 8), Behrami, Parker, Noble, Collison, Franco, Cole (Hines 32)
Subs not used: Kurucz, Tomkins, Jimenez, Stanislas, Diamanti
Goals: Noble (pen) 45, Hines 90

Aston Villa: Friedel, Beye, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Sidwell, Ashley Young, Petrov, Heskey (Reo-Coker 46), Agbonlahor, Carew
Subs not used: Guzan, Luke Young, Shorey, Albrighton, Delph, Delfouneso
Goal: Young 52

Head to head

Last six meetings (Premier League unless stated)

4 November 2009 - West Ham United 2-1 Aston Villa
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

Overall record v Aston Villa (all competitions) W 37 D 29 L 34

Next up

West Ham United have a free weekend on January 23/24 following their elimination from the FA Cup. They are next in action a week on Tuesday when they travel to Portsmouth for an evening kick-off. Aston Villa have the return leg of their Carling Cup semi-final at home to Blackburn Rovers on Tuesday 20 January.


• Sunday's referee is Mike Jones.

• Jones started refereeing at 15, and is now on his 17th season on the National List, four as an assistant and thirteen as a referee. 2009/10 is his second season as a Select Group referee.

• He was appointed to referee the 2009 FA Trophy final between Stevenage Borough and York City and to referee the 2007 League Two Play-Off final between Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury Town, both at Wembley.

• He was the fourth official for the 2004 Carling Cup final between Middlesbrough and Bolton Wanderers and was also the man in the middle for the 1997 Conference League Cup final and the 2005 Women's FA Cup final.

• Jones took charge of one West Ham United game last season - the 2-1 home victory against Stoke City on 28 December 2008.

West Ham United

• Last November's victory over Villa was West Ham United's first in eight attempts. Their previous maximum came when a Marlon Harewood hat-trick helped them to a 4-0 win at the Boleyn Ground in September 2005.

• The Hammers have won at Villa Park twice, in 1995 and 2006, since the inception of the Premier League.

• West Ham's biggest ever away win at Aston Villa came in a Division One fixture played on 2 April 1927. Vic Watson scored twice, while Stanley Earle, Joseph Johnson and Jimmy Ruffell also netted in a 5-1 victory for the Hammers in front of a crowd of 20,000 at Villa Park.

• The Hammers have scored all seven of the penalties they have been awarded this season, a Barclays Premier League high.

• West Ham have scored 28 goals this season in the league with eleven different scorers registering. Carlton Cole leads the way (seven), with Alessandro Diamanti (five) and Guille Franco (three) next in line. Jack Collison (two), Matthew Upson (two), Junior Stanislas (two), Manuel da Costa, Mark Noble, Luis Jimenez, Zavon Hines and Radoslav Kovac have also registered.

• Scott Parker has been booked seven times this season and Guille Franco five - leading to his suspension against Arsenal. Julien Faubert, Cole and Mark Noble are each on four yellow cards, but will now not be suspended when they receive a fifth as the FA disciplinary deadline has passed.

• Only Robert Green has played in every league game for the club this season. He is on a run of 108 successive league starts.

• Diamanti has had 47 shots on goal this season, with 27 of them hitting the target, both higher than anyone else at the club.

• Jack Collison has more assists (four) than anyone else, while Mark Noble has put in the highest number of crosses (19) at the club.

• Matthew Upson has the highest number of defensive clearances (21), while his central defensive partner James Tomkins has made 17 defensive blocks.

• Green wil celebrate his 30th birthday on Monday.

Aston Villa

• Aston Villa have lost their last two Premier League games - against Arsenal and Liverpool. Those defeats ended a seven-match unbeaten run which began after the defeat at the Boleyn Ground.

• They will, however, be high in confidence after a taking a one-goal advantage in the first leg of the Carling Cup courtesy of victory at Blackburn Rovers on Thursday evening.

• Ashley Young has won more free-kicks than anyone else in the Premier League (43).

• Gabriel Agbonlahor is the Villans' top scorer with eight Premier League goals. The England striker has also had more shots (43) and more shots on target (32) than any of his team-mates.

• James Milner has the most assists for the club this season (eight).

• Villa's biggest-ever home league victory over West Ham came in Division One on 25 April 1987. That day, the Villans ran out 4-0 winners at Villa Park in front of a crowd of just 13,584. Warren Aspinall scored twice, while Stephen Hunt and Simon Stainrod netted a goal each. Villa would end the season by being relegated to Division Two.

Team news

• Gianfranco Zola could recall key first-team players for Sunday's match. Scott Parker, Mark Noble, Jack Collison and Jonathan Spector could be involved after missing the FA Cup defeat by Arsenal.

• Fabio Daprela, who impressed greatly on his first-team debut at left-back against Arsenal last weekend, will be eager to be involved again.

• Freddie Sears could make his first Barclays Premier League appearance of the season after his return from a loan spell at Crystal Palace. Frank Nouble will hope though to retain his starting berth up front after the Arsenal tie.

• Carlton Cole is making good progress from his knee injury and is aiming for a late January return. He was back in light training with the rest of the team on Friday.

• Danny Gabbidon, Herita Ilunga and Kieron Dyer will all miss out as they are still recovering from their hamstring injuries. Gabbidon and Ilunga are thought to be close to a training return.

• Guille Franco is likely to miss the rest of the month with a muscle problem, joining fellow forward Zavon Hines (knee) on the sidelines.

• Long-term absentees Luis Boa Morte (knee) and Calum Davenport (leg) are also definitely unavailable.

• Aston Villa are set to be without Wilfried Bouma (toe) and Curtis Davies (shoulder). Moustapha Salifou is away with the club's permission after being involved in the gun attack on the Togo national team at the African Cup of Nations earlier this month. A minute's silence will be held before Sunday's match to honour the three men killed in that incident.

Old boys

• James Collins will be facing West Ham United for the second time since leaving the Boleyn Ground in the summer. The central defender left swapped London for Birmingham on 1 September for an undisclosed 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 bright day with some clouds in Birmingham, with a top temperature of 7C.