West Ham look to rebound from their loss to Liverpool at the weekend as they head to Birmingham to face Aston Villa. Villa are only three points behind the Hammers with two games in hand so a result is necessary to remain in the top 5. Our GSH experts weigh in with their predictions:
Justin: Aston Villa 2-0 West Ham
Aston Villa are having a hell of a season after arguably deserving to be relegated last campaign. New signings Ross Barkley, Matty Cash, and Ollie Watkins have all contributed to Dean Smith’s excellent team.
West Ham have just lost their first match of 2021, a 3-1 defeat to the champions Liverpool. While West Ham did not play well, Liverpool did not dominate. The champions just showed three moments of brilliance and their class was on full display.
Aston Villa will be an entirely different beast altogether. Their backline will be difficult to break down as they’ve only given up 21 goals in 19 matches thus far. They can also score at will, as seen by their 7-2 drubbing of those same champions earlier this season.
I have a bad feeling about this one. It’s a big match and the Hammers must respond with at least a result, but I pick Villa to nick this one, 2-0.
Lou: Aston Villa 1-1 West Ham
After feeling disappointed at the loss to Liverpool on Sunday, it kind of shows how far we’ve actually progressed as a team. While it can be argued that we didn’t play to the level that we know we are capable of, there’s no doubt that the champion’s level of football made it very hard for us to do so.
Villa will be another difficult test, but one that Moyes needs to be looking at to get us back on track.
Everyone knows how well Jack Grealish has been playing this season and containing him is easier said than done, so we will have to be defensively switched on at all times whilst also taking our opportunities on the counter-attack.
A point wouldn’t be a bad result here at Villa Park as we head into a difficult run of fixtures.
Jeremiah: Aston Villa 1-2 West Ham
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Aston Villa has an incredibly talented squad, and with the likes of Jack Grealish, Ross Barkley, and Ollie Watkins leading the way, the Villains will undoubtedly want to keep their good fortunes rolling past the New Year.
Even with a dismal closing to the transfer window, the Hammers still have a stout lineup. The Liverpool dismantling has left Moyes with defensive questions, but there’s nothing a swift kick to the backside can’t fix.
As the fast-paced New Year rolls on, look for the Hammers to make a quick turnaround from their weekend woes and knock Villa down, keeping them below in the table and earning a well-deserved double.
Jay: Aston Villa 2-2 West Ham
West Ham got the better of Villa in the first meeting between the clubs, but the margins were razor-thin. The Hammers will be looking to bounce back after a tough defeat to Liverpool, while Villa will be looking to get some revenge on the Hammers.
Expect goals in this game and some potential fireworks as well. Antonio and Bowen grab the goals for the Irons as the points are shared between the two sides.
Jack: Aston Villa 1-2 West Ham
Following our 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, West Ham need to show that it was a one-off performance because we were, quite simply, poor. Villa away is a very tough game and we will need to play as we have in previous weeks if we are to beat Dean Smith’s men.
Villa will be looking to get revenge for the reverse fixture when some would say that the Villains were hard done by. West Ham will need to keep Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley quiet if we are to get a result from the game. If we don’t then it could be an embarrassing watch.
West Ham simply cannot play as they did against Liverpool so hopefully, we will put that in the past with a rare win at Villa Park.
Adam: Aston Villa 0-2 West Ham
How about shutting out Villa for a hottake? This all hinges upon shutting down Jack Grealish, the player responsible for almost every spark the Villains have had this season. He was appropriately denoted as the “best player in the Premier League” by David Moyes in his pre-match press conference, so no doubt his name will be circled in red ahead of this match.
In order to shut him down, the Hammers need to be physical with him, arguably too physical. In the last match against them, Grealish started on the left but after getting bullied by Vladimir Coufal they moved him centrally and eventually to the right. More of this and Villa’s greatest threat won’t be able to contribute!