Sunday’s EPL action should come fast and furious as it’s the final Matchday, and all 10 matches will kick-off at the same time. While some clubs fight for spots in Europe, there is an intriguing relegation battle this season – and that’s where our focus will be in this preview.
Aston Villa have already done the improbable in putting themselves in a position to stay up in the top flight next season. Appearing down and out just weeks out, Dean Smith’s side have shown great resilience. A narrow victory over Arsenal their last time out saw them pull even on points with Watford, and edge just ahead to a slightly better goal differential. In their final match vs. West Ham, the Villans have to hope a win will be good enough to stay in the Premier League next season.
But it won’t be easy as David Moyes and West Ham certainly won’t just roll over and grant Aston Villa safety. West Ham have been an in-form club of late, surviving a relegation scare of their own. They’re playing progressively better when they don’t possess the ball, and striker Michail Antonio has come back from the in-season break with an impressive goal-scoring ability. Last week, the Hammers drew Man United, a match many thought they did enough to win in. Can they spoil the party two weeks in a row?
For a proud and historic club like Aston Villa, many feel they belong in the top flight. That said, the results haven’t been there this season, and though they’ve played well down the stretch to try and salvage their spot, this is a side that needs improvements. It’s a massive game for the future of their club, and we’ve got your betting needs covered. Keep reading on beneath the odds for team news, a preview, and betting prediction for Aston Villa vs. West Ham in a crucial relegation battle.
Aston Villa vs. West Ham Betting Odds:
Aston Villa (+139)
West Ham (+179)
Over 2.5 (-140)
Under 2.5 (+120)
*Betting odds provided by BetOnline.ag
Aston Villa vs. West Ham Pick:
It will be interesting to see how West Ham United approaches this matchup. With nothing on the horizon for the next few weeks, David Moyes will likely not take it easy on Aston Villa, and dress his first-team side. That said, doing that may prove to be difficult as the Hammers do have some fresh injury concerns of their own. Aaron Cresswell and Jarrod Bowen are both scheduled to be out, which will limit the Hammers’ effectiveness away from the ball.
They’ll be hoping to continue getting bailed out by new goal-scoring phenom in Michail Antonio. The striker is in fine form at the moment, and though Villa has shown improvements within their back-line of late, Antonio is a powerful force that is one of the hottest goal-scorers in Europe.
For Dean Smith and Villa, they too are battling some injury doubts of their own. A tough hit for a squad without much depth and in such a crucial match. This condensed campaign has quickly taken a toll on many clubs.
Villa will have to do without the services as Tom Heaton, Ahmed Elmohamady, and Wesley. While that trio would surely help, it’s uncertain if any of the three would’ve been in the starting eleven vs. West Ham.
Look for Villa to line-up in a 4-3-3 formation, and while a draw could be good enough to stay in the top-flight, the squad likely knows a win is what’s needed. As a result, expect Villa to try and push the pace, playing long-balls from the heart of their defense up top to a trio of exciting talents.
While Antonio’s form must worry Aston Villa, their defensive shape and strength in the middle with Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings is a tandem that can deal with the powerful striker. Expect Villa to have a lot of the ball, and their recent form and finishing ability has been encouraging. Look for them to control possession and the scoring chances, and their desperation on Sunday should translate to three points, and safety.
Pick: Aston Villa 2-0