Preview - Aston Villa

Everything you need to know about Saturday's visit to Villa Park

Everything you need to know about Saturday's trip to Villa Park. 

In brief

West Ham United travel to Birmingham to play in-form Aston Villa this Saturday as the Hammers look to build on their win over Burnley last weekend. 

The Villans have enjoyed a revival in fortunes following Tim Sherwood’s arrival at Villa Park, currently 14th in the Premier League, a win would take them to 38 points, a total most pundits expect will be enough to keep them safe from relegation. 

As for the Hammers, currently ninth, a win would take them to a much coveted 50 points, a record since their return to the top flight. 

In the reverse fixture, the two sides played out a 0-0 draw thanks largely to Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan who pulled off a string of excellent saves to deny the Hammers. 

Pundits, players and fans, especially David Cameron, will be hoping for more goals come Saturday afternoon. 

Who are they?

Formed in 1874 from members of the Villa Cross Wesleyan Chapal cricket team Aston Villa enjoyed a very succesful start to life winning the FA Cup in 1887, 1895 and 1897 as well as winning the First Division five times in the 1890s.

Aston Villa moved into their iconic Villa Park stadium in 1911, going on to win another two FA Cups later that decade.

Villa's crowning glory came in 1982 when they won their first European Cup final, beating Bayern Munich 1-0 in Rotterdam.

They have competed in the top flight of English football without relegation since the 1988/89 season.

Team news

Aston Villa

The Villans could be boosted by the return of Gabriel Agbonlahor as he faces a race against time to recovery from a hamstring injury. 

Other absentees include Nathan Baker, Ciaran Clark and Chris Herd (all knee injuries) and Libor Kozak (leg). 

West Ham United

The Hammers will be without Winston Reid (hamstring) and Guy Demel (calf) with Reece Burke expected to make his third league appearance.

Longer term absentees James Tomkins (shoulder), Diafra Sakho (thigh) and Andy Carroll (knee) are all still unavailable but are making good progress in their recovery.   


Saturday’s referee is Lee Mason, the Lancashire based official has been a Premier League referee for nine seasons in which times he has taken charge of 180 games, issuing 568 yellow and 30 red cards. 

Mason are refereed two West Ham games this term, the 2-1 defeat away at Manchester United where Kevin Nolan had a goal dubiously ruled out for offside and the 1-0 win over Sunderland at the Boleyn. 

Additionally, Mason has officiated four Aston Villa games – their 1-0 away win at Liverpool, defeats to Newcastle United and Queens Park Rangers and a 1-1 draw with Manchester United. 

One to watch

Aston Villa

Belgian striker Christian Benteke has rediscovered his goal scoring form, scoring 12 goals in the past two months. 

The powerful striker has 15 in total for the season and will pose a threat to the Hammers’ defence all afternoon.  

West Ham United

Having been named Hammer of the Year at the 2014/15 Player Awards in midweek, all eyes will be on Aaron Cresswell to live up to the billing. 

The 25-year-old left-back has been in superb form all season, playing every minute of the Hammers’ league campaign so far. 

The former Ipswich Town man has been a creative force going forward while helping to secure two clean sheets in the last two games. 


The last remaining standard tickets for this game are available but pleased be advised to act quickly as the final tickets are expected to sell out quickly.

Tickets for the Hammers last home game of the season with Everton are available here.


For details on how to get to Villa Park please click here. 

Please note that there are major roadworks around J6 on the M1 and subsequent traffic delays. To find out how your journey may be disrupted, click here.  

If you travelling by train, click here for National Rail website. 


Saturday is set to be an overcast day with sunshine forecast for the second half. The predicted temperature at kick-off is 13C (55F).

Last away meeting

Aston Villa 0-2 West Ham United
Barclays Premier League
8 February 2014

The Hammers picked up a valuable win in the same fixture last season, thanks to a brace from captain Kevin Nolan.

Villa dominated possession and had the greater chances yet the Hammers took their chances with two second half strikes from the experienced midfielder. 

Aston Villa: Guzan, Baker, Clark, Bacuna, Bertrand (Bennett 74), Lowton (Albrighton 56), Westwood, Delph, Weimann (Holt 71), Agbonlahor, Benteke
Subs: Steer, El Ahmadi, Sylla, Helenius

West Ham United: Adrian, McCartney, Tomkins, Collins, Demel, Nolan (Nocerino 68), Jarvis (Reid 74) Taylor, Noble, Downing, C Cole (Borriello 45) 
Subs: Adrian, O'Brien, Potts, Maiga