Aston Villa v West Ham United - All You Need To Know
West Ham United are back in Premier League action on Wednesday evening, when they travel to Aston Villa.
The Hammers head to Villa Park seeking to get back to winning ways after their six-match winning run was ended by Liverpool at London Stadium on Sunday.
Prior to that 3-1 Premier League defeat, the Irons were unbeaten in eight in all competitions, having taken 14 points from a possible 18 in the Premier League and overcome National League outfit Stockport County and EFL League One side Doncaster Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup.
West Ham met Aston Villa at London Stadium in the reverse fixture on 30 November last year and won 2-1 courtesy of goals at the start of each half scored by Angelo Ogbonna and Jarrod Bowen. Jack Grealish netted for Villa, for whom Ollie Watkins missed a second-half penalty.
With England now back under a national lockdown due to the ongoing pandemic, this means the game will be played without supporters present. However, the match will be shown live in the UK by BT Sport 2, meaning our fans will be able to follow the action, safely, from home.
West Ham United manager David Moyes could hand a debut to Jesse Lingard a debut after the England international joined the Hammers on loan from Manchester United.
Injury-wise, Darren Randolph has missed the last three games with a knock picked up in training, while Arthur Masuaku remains sidelined as he continues his rehab following knee surgery.
Aston Villa could hand a debut to French midfielder Morgan Sanson, who has joined the club from Marseille.
Brazilian striker Wesley is out with a long-term knee injury, while former West Ham Academy defender Kortney Hause has been sidelined with a foot problem.
The opposition – Aston Villa
Like West Ham United, Aston Villa are enjoying a much improved 2020/21 after flirting with relegation from the Premier League last season.
Dean Smith brought in midfielder Ross Barkley on loan from Chelsea, right-back Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest, winger Bertrand Traore from Lyon, goalkeeper Emi Martinez from Arsenal and striker Ollie Watkins from Brentford, and all five have undoubtedly been successful signings so far.
Villa kicked-off the season in sensational form, winning their opening four Premier League matches, including a 7-2 home win over Liverpool and 1-0 victory at Leicester City.
While the results have been more up and down since then, Villa have kept winning games, reaching the halfway stage with ten victories and 32 points under their belts.
COVID-19 saw two fixtures postponed in January, meaning Villa have games in hand on the teams immediately above them, including West Ham, and Smith will hope his side are in the top six again come the end of February.
How will they play?
Aston Villa have become an attacking force this season. After scoring just 41 goals last term, Dean Smith’s side have netted 34 in the opening half of the current campaign.
Why? Well, they can threaten from anywhere on the pitch, with attacking full-backs, creative midfielders out wide and through the middle, an all-action, goalscoring centre-forward, a lightning-quick counter and aerially powerful defenders who can score from set plays.
Overall, Villa create 15.3 shots per game, which ranks third in the Premier League behind Manchester City and Liverpool.
Villa's main man is undoubtedly their captain and attacking midfielder Jack Grealish, who has six goals and nine assists to his name, while centre forward Ollie Watkins is their leading scorer with eight top-flight goals.
Defensively, Villa still concede goals, but at a slower rate than they did last season. All in all, it is a recipe for success.
West Ham United and Aston Villa meet in the Premier League for the 44th time this evening.
The visitors have had the best of things by far down the years, winning 13 of the 43 meetings, while the Hammers have won ten, with 20 draws.
David Moyes has faced Aston Villa 27 times during his managerial career, winning nine, drawing 12 and losing six. The West Ham manager has not lost any of his last nine meetings with Aston Villa.
By the numbers
0 West Ham United are the only Premier League side not to be awarded a penalty so far this season, in any competition. The full list of Premier League penalties awarded in 2020/21 is as follows:
|Brighton & Hove Albion||6||5|
|West Bromwich Albion||2||2|
17 Vic Watson scored a record 17 goals against Aston Villa in just 15 career appearances for West Ham United. The Hammers’ all-time leading scorer netted in ten of those 15 matches, including hat-tricks in a 5-1 First Division win at the Boleyn Ground on 13 November 1926 and a 5-2 First Division win at Villa Park on 21 December 1929.
7-2 West Ham United scored their biggest-ever Football League or Premier League win over Aston Villa on 30 August 1958, when Ted Fenton’s Irons ran out 7-2 victors at the Boleyn Ground. The Hammers had only been promoted the previous season, while Villa had finished 14th in the top-flight, but Eric Houghton’s visitors were no match for Fenton’s hosts. A 30,363-strong crowd saw Vic Keeble, John Dick and Malcolm Musgrove each score twice, while Bill Lansdowne was also on target.
3 West Ham United great Frank McAvennie made three Premier League appearances for Aston Villa during the first season of the competition, 1992/93. The Scot came on as a substitute for Dwight Yorke (twice) and Cyrille Regis in games against Southampton, Chelsea and Crystal Palace at Villa Park, before joining Northern Irish club Cliftonville. McAvennie had earlier made his second West Ham ‘debut’ against Villa on 25 March 1989, having re-joined the Hammers from Scottish club Celtic.
17 Among the 17 West Ham United players who made their debuts for the Irons against Aston Villa were Alvin Martin (March 1978), Carlos Tevez (September 2006), Matthew Upson (February 2007), Winston Reid (August 2010) and Mohamed Diame (August 2012).
1-0 Kevin Nolan scored West Ham United’s winning goal against Aston Villa on his Premier League debut for the Irons, netting in a 1-0 victory at the Boleyn Ground on 18 August 2012. Nolan, who is now on David Moyes’ coaching staff at London Stadium, also scored both goals in a 2-0 Premier League win at Villa Park on 8 February 2014.
Referee: Andrew Madley
Assistant Referees: Richard West and James Mainwaring
Fourth Official: Michael Salisbury
VAR: Jarred Gillett
Assistant VAR: Stephen Child
Yorkshireman Andrew Madley began his refereeing career in the local Wakefield leagues before advancing through the levels before becoming a Level 3A referee and starting to run the line in the Football League in 2008.
In 2009, he was promoted to the Panel List which allowed him to referee in the Conference divisions before progressing further the following year by becoming a Select Group Assistant Referee in the Premier League.
In 2011, he became a National List Referee, officiating in the Football League, before being promoted to Select Group 2 in 2016.
Madley took charge of his first Premier League fixture on 31 March 2018, a 2-2 draw between Watford and AFC Bournemouth.
He was promoted to the Select Group 1 Referees list in the summer of 2019.
The 37-year-old has taken charge of West Ham fixtures just three times previously - the 2-0 FA Cup third-round win at Gillingham in January this year, followed by the 3-0 Premier League win at Leicester City in October and goalless draw at Southampton in late December.