Ok, time to get down to business, we’ve strengthened in quality, if not numbers, now the players need to play their part – as does the manager in motivational terms. A mixed start to the season but points already on the table. A win v West Ham and we could very well go on a run, if we lose though………..Well, we need to win against newly promoted teams if we really do have ambitions of Europe this year.
DOL says about his dream of qualifying for Europe: ‘There are plenty of other clubs bigger and better who are chasing the same dream,’ (How very dare you!) ‘In my first season here at Aston Villa we missed out on Europe on goal difference but we are now better equipped than at that time. We have been in the mix for the last two seasons and it would be lovely to achieve this ambition.’
Doug says: ‘Have those nasty men who wanted to take my club gone yet?’
Alan Pardew says: ‘I got to see them (Villa) play at Portsmouth and I thought they played well. Phillips is in terrific form and they have the option now of Baros and Angel…I think it will be a good game of football because we both like to play the game well.’
West Ham Team News:
West Ham Team News: West Ham have a full contingent to select from with no injury worries. (from): Carroll, Repka, Gabbidon, Ferdinand, Konchesky, Benayoun, Reo-Coker, Dailly, Etherington, Harewood, Sheringham, Aliadiere, Hislop, Mullins, Noble, Ward, Clarke, Newton, Zamora.
Player to watch: Sheringham
The old war horse. Give him a chance at your peril.
Aston Villa Team News:
Hendrie returns from his suspension – although hopefully not straight back into the team, new signings Bouma, Milner and Bakke are all fit and raring to go. Angel looks sure to remain on the bench. If Jlloyd plays, it will be his 150th appearance, although it isn’t certain he’ll play now we have Bouma. (from): Sorensen, Taylor, Hughes, Mellberg, Ridgewell, Cahill, Samuel, Bouma, Milner, Bakke, McCann, Whittingham, Davis, De la Cruz, Djemba-Djemba, Barry, Baros, Angel, Phillips, Moore.
Player to watch: Milner
Can he supply the amunition for Baros and Phillips?
Match Facts & Stats
Villa are 11th with 5 points.
Best case: 5th. Worst case: 12th
Current Form: 11th
Last four games: D L D W
The Hammers are 13th with 4 points.
Best case: 6th. Worst case: 13th (unless goal difference drops them down, then again, they would have to lose by 3 goals)
Current Form: 13th
Last three games: W D L
Last season: Not applicable.
Record in the Premiership: West Ham 3 wins, Aston Villa 6 wins, Draws 11.
Prem record at Upton Park: West Ham 2 wins, Aston Villa 2 wins, Draws 6.
Rob Styles 4 matches, 1 red, 10 yellows.
Mystic Mug is all in a lather having only predicted 50% correct so far this season but is sticking with his early season optimism and saying an away win, 2-1. Charlie Nichlas of Sky Sports says 2-1 to Villa.
Sept 17th SPURS
Sept 24th (Chelsea)
Oct 1st BORO