West Ham Utd. - Aston Villa

West Ham opened the recent season with an away win against Hull City (2-0), but since then they’ve noticed eleven competitive games (nine in Premier) without a single win. Club solved a problem in attacking line by bringing Italian Alessandro Diamanti, but recent concern is defense line that are leaking too much goals. West Ham conceded 14 goals in last six games in Premier! However, their performance looks better than results. Two 2-2 draws, against Arsenal at home and Sunderland on the road, bring the hope for better future. At their home, Boleyn Ground (commonly known as Upton Park), Hammers have two draws and two defeats and desperately need a win that would move them from the relegation zone. On that task will be without midfielder Radoslav Kovac who is suspended following his recent sending off against Sunderland, while Kieron Dyer remains on injury list with a hamstring problem. But, big boost for team’s morale will be a return of key midfielder Scott Parker.


The Villains took only two points from last three games on the road (Blackburn Rovers 1-2, Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-1 and Everton 1-1), but still hold a high position in Premier and win at East London would launch them on place number four. Champions League spot is a target for Villa in last few years and tonight could be only the additional motive. However, Villa look in not so good shape lately (after win over Chelsea 2-1) and currrently Upton Park looks like a tough place to go. Norwegian John Carew put a good display against Everton and he’s expected to begin the game in attack alongside excellent Gabriel Agbonlahor. Manager Martin O'Neill will have some problems in midfield as Stiliyan Petrov and James Milner are carrying the knocks. They’ll face a late fitness test, while Nigel Reo-Coker (ex West Ham) and Fabian Delph are standing by to replace them. And while this duo could be replaced without too much problems, headache for O’Neill is suspension of his key defender, Carlos Cuellar at right-back. Villa are unbeaten in their last six meetings with West Ham (three wins and three draws).


West Ham chase a first home win to run from the bottom, Villa want a move to Champions League spot, both sides won’t be satisfied with one point. Hosts will attack, but I doubt their defense can stop killer duo Carew- Agbonlahor. Bet on goals looks like a logic conclusion. Betfair offer 2.22. Over.


Maybe one more before the kick-off.


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