Barclays Premier League action for me which will see Aston Villa host West Ham United in a 15:00 kick off at Villa park. The hosts Aston Villa seemed to have turned a corner of late and look to have managed to move up to 14th in the table, this is good progress, however, Villa are far from safe! They head into this game just 2 points in front of Sunderland (Sunderland have a game in hand). So, they ideally need a win here in front of their own fans!
Since joining Villa, Sherwood has done a decent job, it didn’t start as well as he would have liked, however, I feel this would have made him realise that the job he’s taken wasn’t going to be an easy ride!! The recent form of Belgian Striker Benteke has been incredible and he is one of the reasons that Villa have moved a little closer to safety! Will Villa go down, I don’t think so, they have 3 game remaining, 2 of which I think they can/should win (West Ham & Burnley at home) and an away trip to Southampton which I think a draw is possible. Villa head into the game having won their last 2 home games, both against good teams too (Liverpool and Everton)!
They were close scoring games, however, it shows the team spirit that they’ve managed to hold on and salvage 6 points from these 2! The fact that Villa are in the FA Cup Final (May 30th) I think is being used as motivation for Sherwood, I think that he is drilling it in to the players that if they don’t perform/put the required effort in then they may be dropped for the final! All players will want to play a part in this game for sure! Clark is out injured, however, Baker and Gabby Agbonlahor may return.
Let’s be honest, West Ham have had a far better season that Villa in terms of how they’ve played, the position they are in etc. The concern for me is the recent form away from home for West Ham. Manager Sam Allardyce had a good start to the season, their form lately though has been terrible and this has caused some of the West Ham fans to become frustrated again!
Big Sam has changed the style of how West Ham have played this season, they previously played very unattractive football and seemed to use a long ball approach, Allardyce has started to get them playing a more passing orientated game. This for me has been a good move, it just seems that they don’t have the same grit and determination that they used to (unless playing a top 4 club). West Ham have a poor away record this season, especially since mid-December 2014. West Ham head into the game having not won away from home in 10 games (5 draws and 5 losses). West Ham also have a few players out (Carroll, Sakho, Demel and Tomkins). Reid may return but again, he is not 100% at the moment.
With the above in mind, I can see a Villa win, West Ham have little to play for and have a poor away record, Villa are fighting for survival and they will see this as a game they can win. The current form of Cleverley and Benteke has been great and I expect this to continue. I’ll be backing a straight Aston Villa win @ 1.95 with BetVictor. Good Luck all.
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