Villa To Sweat On Survival After Suffering Hammers Defeat

Aston Villa make the relatively short trip to London on Sunday for their curtain closer against West Ham knowing a win is their best chance of staying in the division, although it may not be enough.

Dean Smith’s side sit outside the drop zone on goal difference, which is only one better than 18th place Watford who face Arsenal this weekend, meaning any slip up will be pounced on by the chasing Hornets as well as Bournemouth who are only three points behind.

Villa only need to match Watford and Bournemouth results to ensure their place in the Premier League next season, if Watford were to comfortably beat the Gunners then the result at the London Stadium could be redundant due to the minimal difference in goal difference with Villa on -27 and Watford on -26.

Meanwhile, West Ham are in for a more relaxed afternoon having sealed their Premier League status at Old Trafford in midweek with a 1-1 draw against Manchester United.

The Hammers’ faithful will have reason to feel deflated with their side's performance this season considering the quality that they possess, most of whom probably never expected to be in the midst of a relegation scrap for the majority of the season.

When David Moyes took over the club just before the start of the new year, the club were sat 17th in the table so there is still much to improve on as they look ahead to the summer break, something many of the fans are likely to have been looking at for a while now.

The earlier season fixture between the two sides ended in a disappointing 0-0 draw which will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Villa fans will remember it as the game teammates Tyrone Mings and Anwar El Ghazi were involved in a heated discussion whilst West Ham defender Arthur Masuaku was dismissed in the second half for a second bookable offence.

Team News

West Ham are closely monitoring the fitness of midfielder Jarrod Bowen and defender Aaron Cresswell who both picked up minor injuries in their midweek fixture.

Felipe Anderson returned to the bench as an unused sub against Manchester United so could feature.

Ahmed Elmohamady has been ruled out with a hamstring injury so Frederic Guilbert could make his first start since March.

Neil Taylor could also return following a similar issue but Tom Heaton and Wesley are still out.

Aston Villa have significantly improved in recent weeks and given themselves a chance but I think there will be an emphasis from David Moyes for his players to finish strongly and with the form Michail Antonio has shown in recent matches the Villa defence will have to be on top of their game to secure safety. I do think they will stay up but only from results elsewhere.

Match Preview written by Dan Chenery