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Preview: West Ham United vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's Premier League clash between West Ham United and Aston Villa, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

West Ham United welcome Aston Villa to the London Stadium on Monday evening with the opportunity to move ahead of their opponents in the Premier League standings.

The visitors had featured higher up in the table, but three defeats in four games have left Dean Smith's side down in seventh position.

Match preview

West Ham United manager David Moyes celebrates in October 2020© Reuters

Regardless of their strong performances against the bigger clubs this season, David Moyes was aware that all the hard work would have been undone had they not recorded points against Fulham and Sheffield United.

While it was not pretty against either struggling side, the Hammers emerged with maximum points courtesy of 1-0 scorelines, and Moyes will take pride from the manner of those victories.

West Ham had produced eye-catching displays earlier in the season, but back-to-back clean sheets under pressure in tight matches would have been more satisfying for the opinion-dividing boss.

Sitting in eighth spot and 10 points clear of the drop zone, Moyes knows that there is an opportunity to become established in the top 10, and that is unlikely to lead to any tinkering to his side.

Nevertheless, recent signing Said Benrahma continues to wait for his chance, and it is surely only a matter of time before the playmaker is rewarded for his patience with a start.

From Villa's perspective, Smith will be fearful of his side losing all momentum after suffering three home defeats to opponents of similar level.

Beating Leicester City and Arsenal on away territory felt like statement results as the West Midlands outfit look to return to the upper echelons of the English game.

However, conceding nine goals against Leeds United, Southampton and Brighton & Hove Albion has left Villa battling to keep hold of their spot in the top half of the standings.

Although Villa will still carry the same ambitions going forward, Smith may accept that he needs to be more adaptable with his style of play working far more effectively away from home.

Villa are yet to concede on their travels this season, but this is the first time this season where they will have to battle with a crisis in confidence at the back.

West Ham United Premier League form: WDDLWW

Aston Villa Premier League form: WWLLWL

Team News

Ross Barkley in action for Aston Villa on November 21, 2020© Reuters

Villa will have to make do without Ross Barkley, who suffered a hamstring injury during the early minutes of the latest setback against Brighton.

Rather than handing Bertrand Traore a place in the first XI, Smith could strengthen his midfield with the introduction of Conor Hourihane.

West Ham boss Moyes still has doubts over Michail Antonio's recovery from a hamstring injury, and the forward will only be selected on the substitutes' bench at best.

Pablo Fornals is expected to get the nod over Benrahma, while Andriy Yarmolenko may be back in contention after testing positive for coronavirus.

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Fabianski; Balbuena, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Coufal, Rice, Soucek, Masuaku; Bowen, Haller, Fornals

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Mings, Targett; McGinn, Luiz, Hourihane; Trezeguet, Watkins, Grealish

SM words green background

We say: West Ham United 2-1 Aston Villa

While Villa have impressed going forward this season, facing a resolute Hammers side without Barkley at their disposal makes things far more difficult. With that in mind, we are backing the Hammers to battle their way to three points on Monday, potentially through a late goal.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

Video prediction

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West Ham United manager David Moyes celebrates in October 2020
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