Both clubs aim to hit the ground running after the international break and pick up three valuable points to continue their impressive starts to the campaign.
Aston Villa entertain West Ham United to find out who is the better claret and blue in 2023/24. Unai Emery has continued to lead the hosts to noteworthy performances this season, and they will face a tough test in David Moyes’ side as the Premier League resumes following the international window.
This same fixture produced a 1-0 victory for West Ham last term via a 74th-minute winner from Pablo Fornals against a side led by Steven Gerrard. Indeed, the Villains will want to show how much they have improved since then.
Aston Villa have won five of their opening seven Premier League games, with that opening-day 5-1 defeat at Newcastle looking like a blip with every passing week. They responded by beating Everton and Burnley in the next two games, but Liverpool were too much for the Birmingham side at Anfield.
Defeat brings out the best in Emery’s men, as they showed in victories over Crystal Palace and Chelsea, but the best result of the campaign was reserved for the 6-1 dismantling of Brighton courtesy of a hat trick from Ollie Watkins.
West Ham will not be pleased to be the next visitors to Villa Park, where Villa has continued its upward trajectory. However, the home side must be wary of the quality of James Ward-Prowse from set-pieces.
Having clinched a Europa Conference League spot last season, Villa sit in fifth position as the joint-second top scorer after seven Premier League games. They have only been beaten by Champions League teams so far and will be expected to put the Hammers backline under intense pressure.
On the other hand, West Ham have made a promising start to the season, winning three and drawing one of their first four fixtures before suffering back-to-back 3-2 defeats to Manchester City and Liverpool. They assuredly bounced back with a 2-0 victory at home to Sheffield United.
The Londoners deservedly find themselves in seventh position with 13 points after seven games and will host high-flying Newcastle before traveling to the West Midlands following the break. Moyes’ side is built for big games, and they will trust themselves to get the result and upset a vibrant home crowd.
West Ham have only lost once in four away games so far this season, and they will once again be hard to beat. With the hosts also unbeaten at home, something has to give, and the Hammers will look to hit Villa on the counter or force set-piece situations.
The battle of the dugouts will also be essential as two experienced managers pit their wits against one another. Hence, late substitutions and tactical tweaks could well decide the destination of the points.
This game is scheduled for Sunday, October 22, at 4:30 PM UK time. Aston Villa vs West Ham tickets are available for sale on each club’s website, and you won’t want to miss the action at a bubbly Villa Park.
It will be easier for supporters with a season ticket or membership to get tickets, given the game is sure to be sold out, and Villa has been a delightful watch this season. There is always a brilliant atmosphere when Emery’s men play at home, and West Ham will make it a well-contested match.
Visiting fans who still want to buy West Ham away tickets may be lucky enough to find theirs on a ticket resale website.
There are a few fitness worries for the hosts as Jacob Ramsey is back in the Aston Villa treatment room after playing only 71 minutes this season. He joins a worrying list that includes Tyrone Mings, Emiliano Buendia, and Alex Moreno as the injury casualties.
Tim Iroegbunam is finally building up his fitness with the U21s team, but the West Ham game perhaps comes too early for him. Elsewhere, there remain question marks over the availability of Kortney Hause.
West Ham’s full-back pair Aaron Cresswell and Ben Johnson are both out with hamstring and groin injuries, respectively. At the same time, Michail Antonio got injured just before the international window and might be fit enough for the trip to Aston Villa.
Should the striker remain on the bench, Moyes could decide to start Mohamed Kudus at right-wing to allow Jarrod Bowen to switch to center-forward, or Danny Ings could be chosen to do a specialist job.
Emery has built strong dynamics within his preferred team, and there are unlikely any changes save for injuries.
Nevertheless, Ollie Watkins is one to watch, having delivered four goals and three assists in the league this season, and he also opened the scoring the last time they met West Ham in March. The striker made a long-awaited return to the England squad this month and has also signed a new five-year contract, so will be in the mood for more goals.
Aston Villa: Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Torres, Digne; Luiz, Kamara; McGinn, Diaby, Zaniolo; Watkins
Jarrod Bowen has been electrifying for West Ham, so he is their undisputed dangerman going into the Villa game. The forward has already registered six goal involvements (five goals, one assist) so far, and he will look to punish Lucas Digne down the right flank.
The midfield pivot of Tomas Soucek and Edson Alvarez will also be vital to getting a positive result as they are tasked with imposing themselves on the Villa engine room.
West Ham: Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Aguerd, Emerson; Soucek, Alvarez; Bowen, Ward-Prowse, Benrahma, Antonio
The Lions are expected to be slight favorites, given they are at home and unbeaten in 2023/24. Yet, Moyes's men are capable of spoiling the atmosphere.
Villa is an entertaining outfit and will surely bring the attacking intent and goals. It is up to the Hammers to match their opponents and capitalize on any slip-ups.
Aston Villa 3-2 West Ham