I’m making a rare trip to London for the clash of the Claret and Blues so can’t wait! Will be good to see if we can banish the spectre of last years thrashing, then we weren’t even at the races but the same team look completely different under Martin O’Neill so the sky is the limit.
O’Neill said: ‘The Swedish manager makes the rules and it is his right to do what he wants to. If Olof has broken the rules, then he deserves some sort of punishment. But I think he is okay.’
West Ham Team News:
West Ham could see debuts from Argentines Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano. Roy Caroll is out with a groin strain and John Pantsil is out with a silly name (or knee problem, not sure which) West Ham (from): Green, Walker, Mears, Ferdinand, Gabbidon, Collins, Konchesky, Spector, Dailly, Benayoun, Mullins, Mascherano, Reo-Coker, Bowyer, Reid, Sheringham, Cole, Harewood, Zamora, Tevez.
Player to watch: Ferdinand
I like a good laugh at ridiculous hairstyles (says the man with no hair!)
Aston Villa Team News:
Stiliyan Petrov is due to make his debut so either Gavin McCann or Steven Davis will no doubt be on the bench. Milan Baros should return and is most likely to be a sub. Aaron Hughes faces a late fitness test but is doubtful due to a groin injury and the luckless Mark Delaney picked up another knee injury for Wales and is also a doubt. Aston Villa (from): Sorensen, Hughes, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Bouma, Whittingham, Samuel, Davis, McCann, Petrov, Barry, Hendrie, Moore, Agbonlahor, Angel, Baros, Taylor, Delaney, Laursen, Djemba-Djemba.
Player to watch: Stiliyan Petrov
Lets see what he makes of the Premiership and hope he can provide the much needed ammunition for the strikers.
Match Facts & Stats
West Ham are 6th, 4 points
Aston Villa are 3rd, 7 points
Last season: West Ham United 4-0 Aston Villa
Harewood 25, 29, 50, (which wouldn’t have been so bad if I’d not said in my preview that he couldn’t score in a brothel!) Benayoun 89
Record in the Prem: West Ham 3 wins, Villa 6 wins, Draws 11
At Upton Park in the Prem: West Ham 2 wins, Villa 2 wins, Draws 6
Mystic Mug is in optimistic mood and says Villa will snatch a 1-0 victory and come back from the Smoke with all three points.
Sept 16: (Watford) 5.15pm
Sept 23: CHARLTON 3pm