Aston Villa predicted line-up vs. West Ham: One major change as £16m stalwart axed

The latest Aston Villa and West Ham team news, injury updates, and predicted XIs ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash.
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The Premier League action returns this weekend and Aston Villa will be looking to continue their unbeaten run. Unai Emery’s side held Wolves to a 1-1 draw last time out, but prior to that, thumped Brighton in a blistering 6-1 win, which featured an Ollie Watkins hat-trick.

Villa also edged out Chelsea last month in a slim 1-0 victory, which saw star man Watkins come up clutch once again. The striker is now on eight goal-scoring contributions in as many league matches and will be hoping to keep his form burning brightly when the Villans host West Ham on Sunday.

Just two points separate the sides heading into the weekend, so a tight affair could well be in order. Villa currently sit fifth in the league table on 16 points, while the Irons are seventh on 14 points. Expect an intriguing spectacle, especially as Villa have not beaten West Ham in their last 10 attempts, with the Hammers winning on six occasions. The most recent clash ended in a 1-1 draw.

Aston Villa team news

Villa still have their fair share of injury problems as the likes of Jacob Ramsey, Tyrone Mings, and Emi Buendia remain out of action. Alex Moreno has been improving with fitness but he is yet to feature for the club this season, keeping the left-back spot open for Lucas Digne.

Villa have confirmed that Nicolò Zaniolo is ‘assisting the Italian Football Federation and the relevant authorities’ investigation into alleged illegal betting activity’ and he is training with the first team as normal. However, whether Emery will opt to start him against West Ham remains to be seen, and he could instead deploy Moussa Diaby. Despite being a right-winger by trade, the Frenchman has found the most success in terms of goal-scoring contributions this season as an attacking midfielder, with two goals and three assists.

Matty Cash started in midfield against Wolves, while Diego Carlos returned to the lineup at centre-back, with Ezri Konza at right-back. £16 million 2020 signing Cash managed just seven accurate passes in 82 minutes against Wolves, so he could be shifted out to freshen things up.

Aston Villa predicted line-up

Emi Martínez; Ezri Konsa, Diego Carlos, Pau Torres, Lucas Digne; Boubacar Kamara, Douglas Luiz, Moussa Diaby; Leon Bailey, John McGinn Ollie Watkins.

West Ham team news

West Ham have their own injury list but no new major updates to report. Ben Johnson and Aaron Creswell remain out of action and Łukasz Fabiański is doubtful after picking up a knock, but he is yet to make a Premier League appearance this season, as Alphonse Aréola remains the number one choice.

The Irons played out a tough 2-2 draw in their last fixture against Newcastle United and it’s hard to see David Moyes straying from the lineup he has opted for in the last four games. The main question will be where he deploys James Ward-Prowse, who has switched between a more attacking and defensive midfield role.

West Ham predicted line-up

Alphonse Aréola; Vladimir Coufal, Kurt Zouma, Nayef Aguerd, Emerson Palmieri; James Ward-Prowse, Edson Álvarez, Jarrod Bowen, Tomáš Souček, Lucas Paquetá; Michail Antonio.