Preview: West Ham vs Aston Villa Premier League 15/04/2011

West Ham’s home fans at Upton Park will get to celebrate Premier League match time in match week 33 on Saturday, April 16, when Villa visit the Hammers for a second leg game of the Premiership season.

The first, hosted by Aston Villa on August 14, 2010, ended 3-0 in the hosts’ favour. After Downing gave Villa an early lead, on 15 minutes, Petrov and Milner scored in the 41st and 67th minutes to complete the tally.

On O’Neill’s watch, Villa tended to play long balls and in the first game after his departure, their game appeared a bit more cultured. Albrighton, given an opportunity in Villa’s starting eleven, was the stand out player on the day. Milner scored a goodbye goal, underscoring what the squad would be missing, after his departure.

West Ham’s best player on the day was Green between the posts and the score-lines belies that fact. The score could have well been 6-0 or worse, for that was the nature of Villa’s dominance.

Head to head, Aston Villa have established a 6-3 lead over the Hammers in the last 20 league games played between the sides, with the remaining 9 matches drawn.

In their last 10 league games, Avram Grant’s charges have registered 3 wins, 3 draws and 4 losses; Aston Villa have won 3 of their last 10, while losing 3 and drawing the remaining 4. Of their 16 home games this season, West Ham have won 5, drawn 4 and lost 7, while Aston Villa have won 2 of their 16 games on the road, while losing 9 and drawing the remaining 5.

In match week 32, the Upton Park squad lost 3-0 away at Bolton, while Aston Villa beat Newcastle 1-0, at home.

After being in the cellar for much of the season, West Ham have begun to recover, and are currently in 18th place. A win against Villa on Saturday could see the Hammers out of the relegation mine, and that should be sufficient motivation for the team and their beleaguered manager, Avram Grant. Villa are currently in 14th place, just 5 points adrift of West Ham, and a loss to Grant’s wards could prove disastrous. Expect a hard-fought battle between the sides, on Saturday.

West Ham’s starting eleven against Bolton had the following players: Green, Tomkins, da Costa, Upson, Bridge, Noble, Parker, Hitzlsperger, Piquionne, Keane and Ba. Cole, Spector and Jacobsen featured as substitutes.

Aston Villa had the following men in their starting eleven against Newcastle: Friedel, Walker, Dunne, Collins, Young, Downing, Petrov, Makoun, Young and Agbonlahor. Reo-Coker, Cuellar and Pires played as substitutes.

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