Aston Villa and West Ham United lock horns in the Premier League on Sunday lunchtime as they go head-to-head at Villa Park.
This is probably the biggest game of the home team’s season and it is West Ham’s chance to move to within just seven points of the magic 40 that should guarantee survival.
Paul Lambert’s men are not in any sort of form right now as they haven’t won a game in eight and they are two points adrift of safety. The Villains drew at 3-3 with Everton at Goodison Park last time out, which on paper, looks like a fantastic result.
However, Lambert would have been fuming that his side could not close out the game as they were 3-1 up with 20 minutes to go. If Villa are to beat the drop this campaign, they cannot afford to let a lead like that slip.
This is must win for the Midlands club, a draw simply isn’t good enough. They have to get that winning feeling back in the squad and with Arsenal and Manchester City to play after this one, it is tough to see too many points heading to Villa Park in the next few weeks.
They have the players capable of turning this dismal season around and if Villa perform for the entire 90 minutes, they should win this one.
As for West Ham, they were in danger of slipping into the relegation battle after a poor run of form, but a hard-fought victory over Swansea City last weekend meant they moved back into mid-table.
The table looks a lot better for Sam Allardyce at the moment and he brings a squad to Villa Park that will be confident of all three points. They have won just twice on the road this campaign though, so haven’t travelled as well as they did in the Championship last season.
Allardyce has Andy Carroll fully-fit and in good form after he scored the winner last time out and that is a massive boost for the Hammers’ boss. The Englishman will have a lot of work to do on Saturday, but if the likes of Matt Jarvis and Mark Noble get the service right for him, you would back Carroll to find the net once more.
When Aston Villa are in action, that usually means there will be plenty of goals as they are good going forward, but poor at the back. Let’s hope that is the case in this one and that we are treated to a cracker from 1.30PM on Sunday.