Premier League strugglers Aston Villa currently find themselves in 17th place on the league table, and with just one fixture remaining to play out this season, this matchup against West Ham United has a lot riding on the result. The Hammers’ recent point against Manchester United means that they’re mathematically secure from relegation. The Villans though are battling with Watford and Bournemouth to secure the one remaining berth of safety. With Bournemouth facing Everton and Watford clashing with Arsenal, there’s no denying that the Villans have the most straightforward task of the bunch.
The margins at the bottom of the table are unbelievably small, and a single goal has the capability of turning the whole picture upside-down. A Villa win would more than likely ensure that they remain in the Premier League unless Watford somehow manages to beat Arsenal by a hefty margin. In the case of a draw or loss, they would have to depend on results elsewhere to see what the future has in store for them. The performance against Arsenal a couple of days ago was inspired to say the least, and if they’re able to produce anything similar on the weekend, then safety is just an earshot away for the Villans.
First-choice shot-stopper Tom Heaton is currently undergoing physiotherapy to get back to full fitness, while star striker Wesley finds himself in a similar kind of boat. Although the duo have been on the comeback trail for a while now, they aren’t expected to play any part in this fixture against the Hammers. Bjorn Engels’ Achilles issue has kept him out recently too, and he’s probably not going to make it back in time for this tie either. Their most recent injury came in the form of a hamstrung Ahmed Elmohamady against Arsenal.
Here Is The Predicted 4-3-3 Aston Villa Lineup Vs West Ham United:
Predicted 4-3-3 Aston Villa Lineup Vs West Ham United
In the absence of Tom Heaton between the sticks, Dean Smith has been seen shuffling between his two options in goal. Although in this case, Pepe Reina’s performance against Arsenal would’ve filled the manager with a certain degree of confidence that the Spanish veteran has got what it takes to see out the season. In front of him, the dependable centre-half pairing of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa is set to continue. The injury to Elmohamady means that Frederic Guilbert is likely to replace him in the eleven, with former Southampton man Matt Targett operating down the other side.
The central trio that started the game against Arsenal put in a quite brilliant showing in the middle of the park, and the same group of players are expected to continue for this outing as well. Not only did they deny the Gunners’ creative midfielders too much space to work the ball into, but they also worked tirelessly when bombarding forward on the counter as well. Conor Hourihane and John McGinn were deployed as the slightly more advanced midfielders, responsible for linking up play and providing added support in attack. Former Manchester City man Douglas Luiz will be tasked with the role of protecting the back-line.
The influence that Jack Grealish has on this Aston Villa attack cannot be put into words, meaning that the English sensation is undoubtedly the first name of the teamsheet every week. Expect the trickster to maintain his place on one of the flanks for this tie, with last week’s match-winner, Egyptian speedster Trezeguet, set to continue down the other side. Mbwana Samatta was arguably one of the under-performers from that win against Arsenal, and that could force the gaffer into bringing Keinan Davis back into the team for this match.
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