Kick-off: 2000, 16/09/2019
Stadium: Villa Park
TV: Sky Sports
Championship play-off winners traditionally struggle with the step up to the Premier League and Aston Villa have been no different so far.
Dean Smith’s men are in the relegation zone after the opening four rounds of matches, although they do have a first win on the board after a 2-0 victory over Everton.
The visit of West Ham on Monday night will be another tough test and an away win is our opening Aston Villa vs West Ham prediction at 17/10.
A Look At Aston Villa’s Betting Odds
Villa splashed the cash over the summer in a bid to avoid an immediate return to the Championship but it may take time for the new-look team to gel.
They were easily second best against Tottenham despite their early goal and gave themselves too much to do against Bournemouth after going 2-0 down in the first 12 minutes.
We felt they were slightly flattered by the win against Everton, while the defeat at Crystal Palace last time out was deserved on the balance of play, even though they were controversially denied a late equaliser.
The Aston Villa vs West Ham odds suggest there is little to choose between these two teams but there are more doubts over whether Villa belong at this level than the Hammers.
The pressure will be on them to make the most of home advantage at Villa Park and an open game looks likely, so let’s add a Hammers win and over 2.5 goals to our picks at 13/5.
Last Villa line-up: Heaton, Naylor, Engels, Guilbert, Mings, Douglas Luiz, McGinn, Grealish, Trezeguet, Jota, Wesley.
Villa will be without striker Jonathan Kodjia after the Ivory Coast international suffered a fractured cheekbone in a training-ground clash of heads with team-mate Marvelous Nakamba and faces several weeks out.
Egypt winger Trezeguet is suspended after his red card against Palace.
A Look At West Ham’s Betting Odds
West Ham were given the nightmare start of a meeting with Manchester City on the opening weekend and crashed to a 5-0 defeat against the champions.
They have quickly put that behind them, though, and a haul of seven points from their next three games suggests they can push for at least a top-half finish this season.
Sebastian Haller has given the Hammers more of an attacking threat and three goals in his last two games will have boosted his confidence, while fit-again Andriy Yarmolenko is like a new signing and hit his first goal since September 2018 in the 2-0 win against Norwich.
Reflecting on that performance, manager Manuel Pellegrini said: “I think that in the first 10, 15 minutes, they had a lot of possession and they made dangerous actions inside or near our box.
“I think that after that, we increased our pace to recover the ball, we had a good possession and we started playing the way that I see this team playing in the Premier League.”
That bodes well for the visitors, so we’ll complete our Aston Villa vs West Ham betting tips by taking 19/4 for the Hammers to win 2-1, 3-1 or 4-1.
Last West Ham line-up: Fabianski, Ogbonna, Diop, Fredericks, Masuaku, Felipe Anderson, Lanzini, Noble, Rice, Yarmolenko, Haller.
West Ham winger Michail Antonio has undergone surgery on a hamstring problem suffered during the Carabao Cup win at Newport and so faces a lengthy spell of rehabilitation.
Defender Winston Reid is closing in on a return to action following some 18 months recovering from a serious knee problem.
Crystal Palace 1-0 ASTON VILLA
WEST HAM 2-0 Norwich – Sebastian Haller, Andriy Yarmolenko
Head-to-head: West Ham 2-0 Aston Villa, Aston Villa 1-1 West Ham, Aston Villa 1-0 West Ham, West Ham 0-0 Aston Villa.
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