Friday, 19 December 2008

West Ham v Villa Premier League Preview: O’Neill To Recall Big Guns For Trip To The Hammers


West Ham United play Martin O’Neill’s Aston Villa in the Premier League at Upton Park on Saturday.

Gianfranco Zola’s Hammers side go into this match with just one win in their last 5 league outings, which was against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, but have also drawn with top two Premier League teams Liverpool and Chelsea away from home in this sequence. However, West Ham are just one point of the relegation zone in 16th place and will be hoping to come out of this clash with an inform Villa side with something on Saturday.

The Villans are unbeaten in their last 5 Premiership games, which has seen them draw with Manchester United and Fulham, while beating Arsenal, Bolton Wanderers and Everton. This run has seen O’Neill’s team climb into the Champions League places in 4th place above the Gunners. Villa are yet to draw an away game in the Premier League this season, winning 5 and losing 3 on their travels away from Villa Park.

The Hammers are unable to call on striker Dean Ashton (Os Trigonum syndrome), Daniel Gabbidon (groin), Lee Bowyer (thigh) and James Collins (calf) for the visit of the Midlands club, with Carlton Cole expected to partner Craig Bellamy upfront for West Ham.

Martin O’Neill is still without Wilfred Bouma (ankle) and striker John Carew (back) for the trip to Upton Park, but is expected to recall captain Martin Laursen along with Gareth Barry, Ashley Young, James Milner and Gabriel Agbonlahor, who were all rested for the UEFA Cup tie with Hamburg on Wednesday.

West Ham United: (from) Green, Neill, Upson, Ilunga, Lopez, Dyer, Parker, Bellamy, Etherington, Cole, Boa Morte, Noble, Mullins, Spector, Faubert, Behrami, Stokes, Lastuvka, Tristan, Davenport, Collison, Di Michele, Sears, Stech, Hines, Jefferey, Widdowson

Aston Villa: (from) Friedel, L Young, Sidwell, Laursen, Barry, A Young, Milner, Harewood, Agbonlahor, Delfouneso, Davies, Knight, Salifou, Petrov, Reo-Coker, Shorey, Guzan, Cuellar, Gardner, Osbourne, Bannan, Herd

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