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Premier League | Gameweek 29
Mar 17, 2024 at 2pm UK
London Stadium

West Ham
1 - 1
Aston Villa

Antonio (29')
Alvarez (83'), Kudus (86'), Mavropanos (87')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Zaniolo (79')
Tielemans (70'), Zaniolo (83'), Luiz (86')

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

:Headline: Preview: West Ham United vs. Aston Villa - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Premier League clash between West Ham United and Aston Villa, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Sunday's solitary Premier League fixture - and the final English top-flight battle before the international break - takes place at the London Stadium, as West Ham United host Aston Villa.

Both sides return to domestic duty on the back of emphatic European progressions, as the Hammers demolished Freiburg in the Europa League before Unai Emery's men saw off Ajax in the Europa Conference League.

Match preview

Fuelled by a sense of injustice from last week's first leg, where they were denied a last-minute penalty in an excruciating 1-0 defeat, West Ham taught Freiburg a lesson in attacking supremacy to turn the last-16 tie on its head in remarkable fashion.

Two strikes from Mohammed Kudus, Lucas Paqueta's opener, Jarrod Bowen's first Europa League goal of the season and a collector's item for Aaron Cresswell propelled West Ham to a 5-0 win on the night and 5-1 aggregate success, thus keeping the dream of back-to-back continental crowns alive.

David Moyes's men also made it three Premier League games unbeaten when Burnley came to town last weekend, but only after an abysmal start to the clash of the clarets, falling 2-0 down in the first half before rescuing a slice of the spoils through Lucas Paqueta and a rare Danny Ings effort.

By denying Burnley a priceless win in the relegation scrap, the Irons still have a firm grip on a European berth as they lie seventh in the Premier League standings, and they could now close the gap on Manchester United - who are in FA Cup action against Liverpool - to just one point.

Putting five past Freiburg means that West Ham have recorded an exceptional 11 goals across their last three games at the London Stadium, where their only defeat in their last 14 games was that 6-0 embarrassment at the hands of Arsenal, but Villa arrive in the capital having flaunted their own offensive excellence on the continental stage.

Aiming to follow in their hosts' footsteps and bring the Europa Conference League crown back to England for the second season running, Aston Villa departed Ajax's Amsterdam Arena with a creditable first-leg goalless draw to their name before the shackles came off in the West Midlands.

Prior to his worrying withdrawal due to injury, Ollie Watkins began the goal rush for the Lions, who also had efforts from Leon Bailey, Jhon Duran and Moussa Diaby - who has just been recalled to the France squad for the first time in 12 months - to thank for a 4-0 aggregate annihilation.

However, the Europa Conference League quarter-finalists lost by the same scoreline in their most recent Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur and therefore enter the weekend with their Champions League fate out of their own hands; while they remain fourth at the time of writing, Spurs are just two points behind with a game in hand.

As a result, Emery's troops will drop below the top-four line if Tottenham beat Fulham on Saturday, but they head south with three wins to show from their last three Premier League games on the road and are still unbeaten on rival turf in all tournaments in 2024.

Furthermore, a 4-1 trouncing of West Ham in October ended a 10-game run without victory for the Lions against their capital counterparts, but they have not prevailed away from home against the Irons since a 2-1 Upton Park win in 2011, where Gabriel Agbonlahor struck the decisive goal in the 90th minute.

West Ham United Premier League form:

West Ham United form (all competitions):

Aston Villa Premier League form:

Aston Villa form (all competitions):

Team News

No new concerns arose for West Ham during their five-goal pummelling of Freiburg, where left-sided duo Maxwel Cornet and Emerson Palmieri were Moyes's only two absentees owing to thigh and groin injuries respectively.

Cornet will not return before the international break, and a late decision will have to be taken on Emerson, but there should be no stealing the thunder of 34-year-old Cresswell, whose strike on Thursday was his first competitive goal for the Irons since April 2022.

Limited recuperation time should still benefit Ben Johnson, Nayef Aguerd, erstwhile Villa attacker Ings and Kalvin Phillips's chances of earning recalls, although the latter has now been dropped from the England squad by Gareth Southgate, who admitted that the midfielder's form in recent weeks has simply not been good enough.

While the West Ham doctors enjoyed a quiet evening on Thursday, the Villa medical team had to attend to a stricken Watkins, who lasted 33 minutes against Ajax before succumbing to a painful-looking knee injury.

Emery is hopeful that the England striker had not sustained anything more severe than a cut and has not ruled him out for Sunday just yet, but there is more concern over Diego Carlos, who damaged his hamstring at Villa Park and is likely to miss out. Thankfully for Emery, Ezri Konsa is back from a European ban, as is Nicolo Zaniolo.

John McGinn joins Carlos on the sidelines due to suspension, having been sent off for a desperate kick on Destiny Udogie last weekend, while Tyrone Mings (knee), Emiliano Buendia (knee), Boubacar Kamara (knee) and Jacob Ramsey (ankle) are also in the care of the physios.

West Ham United possible starting lineup:
Areola; Coufal, Zouma, Mavropanos, Emerson; Alvarez, Ward-Prowse; Kudus, Paqueta, Bowen; Ings

Aston Villa possible starting lineup:
Martinez; Cash, Konsa, Lenglet, Digne; Rogers, Tielemans, Luiz, Bailey; Diaby, Duran

We say: West Ham United 2-1 Aston Villa

West Ham's Europa League hangover was evident against Burnley last weekend, but the Irons' taste for goals reared its head in the second half, and there was no shortage of firepower from Moyes's men when Freiburg came to town.

The same was true of Emery's top-four chasing Aston Villa against Ajax - even without Watkins strutting his stuff in the second half - but potentially missing their marquee marksman, McGinn and Carlos, the hosts' absentees may catch up to them en route to a first away loss of 2024.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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CManchester CityMan City38287396346291
4Aston Villa382081076611568
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs382061274611366
7Newcastle UnitedNewcastle381861485622360
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd38186145758-160
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham381410146074-1452
10Crystal Palace381310155758-149
11Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton381212145562-748
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38137185065-1546
17Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest3899204967-1832
RLuton TownLuton3868245285-3326
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd38372835104-6916
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