View on the Opposition - Aston Villa

Lifelong Aston Villa fan Tom O'Sullivan lifts the lid on Saturday's opponents

Lifelong Aston Villa fan Tom O'Sullivan lifts the lid on Saturday's opponents. 

What have you made of the impact Tim Sherwood has had?

"I think he’s been very good, pretty incredible really. He’s got the same players (that Paul Lambert had) but he’s made them look about 1000 times better. They look so much more confident.

"I’m not sure what he’s done particularly differently, they just look a lot more confident going forward. Looks like we still have a few defensive frailties but overall a huge improvement." 

Which players have stood out in recent games?

"It’s hard to name one to be honest. I would have to say Fabien Delph, he’s been consistently excellent for a while. Christian Benteke is back among the goals and Tom Cleverley, I think he’s been the biggest transformation since Tim Sherwood’s arrival. He’s very quick at starting attacks, before us used to play it side to side.

"I would also have to mention Charles Nzogbia, it looked like he was one his way out of the club but he got a standing ovation on Saturday for his performance against Everton." 

In the reverse fixture earlier in the season it finished 0-0 at Upton Park, what did you make of that game?

"I did unfortunately, it was pretty dire. Brad Guzan had a great game that day, probably the best I’ve seen. Now he’s not even playing because Shay Given has replaced him after the mistake against Manchester City. 

"Over the last few years our home form has been significantly worse than our away form but that seems to be changing because the fans are getting behind the team. I’m confident Villa will get the three points on Saturday." 

What is you prediction for the score on Saturday?

"I’m confident, I’ll say Villa to win 3-1. I have to say Benteke will score twice and Delph to get the third. Cheikhou Kouyate only scores against the good teams so he’s got a good chance!"

Who of the West Ham players have impressed you this season and who are you not looking forward to playing against?

"I haven’t seen West Ham play for a while, Diafra Sakho has impressed me a lot but he’s injured. Alex Song on his day is pretty good. Kevin Nolan always seems to score against us, he always turns up in the areas you don’t want him to."

Sherwood has improved Villa dramatically, but safety from relegation isn’t completely secure, are you confident you can beat the drop?

"I am. Our run-in is pretty good. After West Ham we’ve got Southampton away and then Burnley at home. I’m confident we can get at least four points from those games, which should be more than enough.

"Compared to the teams around us, Sunderland and Hull City have got much tougher runs in and Newcastle are also struggling. There are at least three worse teams than us."

And an FA Cup Final to look forward to as well?

"Don’t even get me started! I’ve been trying to get a ticket but they’re pretty hard to come by. Arsenal are a tough team, but you never know. We’ll have to wait and see, with Sherwood we’re more than capable of winning."