EPL - West Ham United v Aston Villa

Image copyright: Getty Images

2023/24 English Premier League

Matchday 29

West Ham United v Aston Villa

London Stadium

London, England

Sunday, 17 March 2024

Kick-off is at 15h00  


Aston Villa will look to get their top-four challenge back on track when they travel to the capital to take on West Ham at the London Stadium on Sunday, March 17.


The Villans opened the door for Tottenham in the race to finish in the top four after crashing to a heavy 4-0 defeat at Villa Park on March 10 to allow Spurs to close within two points of them in fifth place.


Unai Emery's side have now lost three of their last four home games after previously going unbeaten in 10 matches at Villa Park this season.


Villa had won three on the spin prior to the visit of the Lilywhites, who have a game in hand on them. The West Midlands giants also don't have a good recent record against the Hammers, winning just one of their last 10 head-to-head encounters.


West Ham had to battle back from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw with struggling Burnley at the London Stadium on March 10, which saw Danny Ings score a dramatic 91st-minute equaliser.


David Moyes' side are unbeaten in their last three outings following back-to-back wins against Brentford and Everton during the previous fortnight, although they fell four points behind Manchester United (6th) in seventh position.


Brighton (8th), Wolves (9th) and Newcastle (10th) all gained ground on the East Londoners after picking up wins on matchday 28.

John McGinnImage copyright: Getty Images

In team news, Maxwel Cornet is expected to miss out for the hosts with a hamstring injury, while Emerson Palmieri is struggling with a groin problem. John McGinn is ruled out for the visitors through suspension following his red card against Tottenham. Boubacar Kamara, Emiliano Buendia, Tyrone Mings (all knee) and Jacob Ramsey (ankle) all remain unavailable for selection.


Moyes admitted his players weren't at the races in the first half against the Clarets and suggested that their Europa League exertions could be catching up with them.


"I'm not making any excuses for the poor performance in the first half," the Scot said. "We've done a lot of Thursday-Sunday football in the past three years, but we never really got to the speed of it.


"Right from the start we looked as if we were going to play quite slow when we needed to play fast, hard and put them under pressure - and we didn't do.


"We had a disappointing first half and it was summed up by giving away an own-goal just on half-time to make it 2-0. We got back and had enough chances to win it, but it was a day when very few decisions went for us, that was for sure."


Emery was keen to move on from the setback against Spurs and called on his players to find the consistency that has put them in contention to qualify for the UEFA Champions League ahead of the likes of United and Newcastle.


"We will analyse this match and we will be disappointed, but we have to understand the Premier League is 38 matches and we are on game 28 and we are fourth," the Spaniard said.


"We are not a contender to be in the top seven and we are. We are playing against a team who are more in contention than us. We are struggling against Newcastle and Manchester United and today against Tottenham.


"The positive thing is we are in front of them because we are being consistent. That is the way we have to try and keep."


Head-to-Head (Last Five Premier League Meetings)

Matches - 5

West Ham wins - 3

Aston Villa wins - 1

Draws - 1


Premier League Matchday 29 fixtures:


Saturday, March 16


15h00: Burnley v Brentford


15h00: Luton Town v Nottingham Forest


17h30: Fulham v Tottenham Hotspur


Sunday, March 17


14h00: West Ham United v Aston Villa


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Published: 03/12/2024