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Oct 31, 2021 at 4.30pm UK
Aston VillaAston Villa
West HamWest Ham United
Watkins (34')
McGinn (79')
Konsa (50')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Johnson (7'), Rice (38'), Fornals (80'), Bowen (84')
Fornals (79'), Bowen (79')

Preview: Aston Villa vs. West Ham United - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Aston Villa vs. West Ham United - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between Aston Villa and West Ham United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

West Ham United will be bidding to make it three Premier League victories in a row when they travel to Villa Park on Sunday afternoon to take on an out-of-form Aston Villa side.

The Hammers are currently fourth in the table, having picked up 17 points from their opening nine matches, while Villa sit down in 13th, with Dean Smith's side collecting 10 points from their first nine fixtures.

Match preview

Villa might have lost Jack Grealish over the summer, but an exciting transfer window for the club saw them bring in the likes of Emiliano Buendia, Leon Bailey and Danny Ings; as a result, expectations were high at the start of the season, but it has not quite been the start that the supporters would have expected.

Smith's side ended September with back-to-back league wins over Everton and Manchester United, but they have now lost their last three in England's top flight to Tottenham Hotspur, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal, conceding eight times in the process.

A record of three wins, one draw and five defeats has left them down in 13th position in the table on 10 points, and they will now be looking to bounce back against a West Ham side that are unbeaten in this fixture since May 2015, with the Hammers also winning both league meetings last term.

Villa found it difficult to compete at the Emirates Stadium in their last league game on October 22, falling three goals behind early in the second half before Jacob Ramsey netted a late consolation.

The home side have a very tough December on paper, taking on Manchester City, Liverpool, Leicester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, so the club's supporters will be hoping that November is a successful month.

West Ham, on the other hand, have been excellent this season, with the London club impressively competing on three fronts in the Premier League, EFL Cup and Europa League.

The Hammers managed to progress to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup on Wednesday night by beating the holders Man City on penalties, while they have won all three of their Europa League group-stage fixtures this term to sit top of Group H with nine points.

In the Premier League, meanwhile, David Moyes's side have won five, drawn two and lost two of their nine matches to collect 17 points, which has left them in fourth spot in the table, just five points off leaders Chelsea.

West Ham have won their last four games in all competitions, including their last two in the league, recording back-to-back 1-0 victories over Everton and Tottenham Hotspur, and the club will have to be taken seriously as top-four challengers this season if their strong form continues in the coming weeks.

The Hammers will welcome Liverpool to the London Stadium on November 7 ahead of the international break, but the contest with the Reds will come after a Europa League game against Genk in Belgium, where Moyes should rest a number of key players due to the strength of their position in the group.

Aston Villa Premier League form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

Aston Villa form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L

West Ham United Premier League form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

West Ham United form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Villa will be able to call upon goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez despite 'personal issues', which saw the 29-year-old return to Argentina, but Morgan Sanson, Jaden Philogene-Bidace and Trezeguet will be absent.

Smith admitted during Friday's press conference that Leon Bailey needs to be 'managed', and the head coach will make a late decision on the attacker's involvement, but he should be available to start.

Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings are also both expected to be in the XI, while Ramsey's impressive performance off the bench against Arsenal could see the midfielder come in for a start.

As for West Ham, Alex Kral is back in training after his spell in isolation following a positive coronavirus test, while Vladimir Coufal returned from injury as a substitute against Man City in the EFL Cup.

Ben Johnson's form could see Coufal stay on the bench for this match, though, and the right-back spot is the only major talking point in terms of team selection, with Moyes not expected to make any surprising calls.

Indeed, Michail Antonio will lead the line with support from Jarrod Bowen, Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals in the deeper areas, while Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek will feature as the two central midfielders.

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; Ramsey, Luiz, McGinn; Bailey, Ings, Watkins

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Johnson, Zouma, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Rice, Soucek; Bowen, Benrahma, Fornals; Antonio

We say: Aston Villa 1-1 West Ham United

West Ham are absolutely flying and will be confident of picking up another positive result against an out-of-form Villa side on Sunday afternoon. It would not be a surprise to see the Hammers triumph once again, but we just have a feeling that the points will be shared in a cagey affair at Villa Park.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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