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These two sides endured their fair share of struggle last term, but both will be happy with their campaigns so far, though the Hammers undeniably arrive in the better form.
David Moyes appears to have found a winning formula with a switch to a back three, as the midfield axis of Tomas Soucek and Declan Rice has provided a real platform to build from, with the wing-backs able to kick on owing to the extra protection provided.
Since an opening day defeat against Newcastle, West Ham have gone W6-D2-L3 in all competitions, with the defeats inflicted by Arsenal, Everton and Liverpool, while the stalemates were against Tottenham and Man City.
They’ve beaten the rest of their opponents, including highly impressive 4-0 and 3-0 victories over Wolves and Leicester respectively, while the only time they’ve lost in their last six fixtures was to a late Diogo Jota strike for Jurgen Klopp’s champions.
Villa have faltered after an excellent start to their season and they’ve now lost three of their last four outings. The exception was a fantastic 3-0 triumph over Arsenal at the Emirates, but their other recent results are certainly worrying.
Indeed, they conceded nine times across defeats hosting Leeds, Southampton and Brighton, while they lost on-loan midfielder Ross Barkley to a hamstring injury just five minutes into their latest outing.
Along with summer signing Ollie Watkins, Barkley has helped Villa decrease their reliance for a final-third threat on captain Jack Grealish.
His absence should reduce their potency and the two head to heads last season hardly suggests a strong flow of goals here. Both ended in stalemates, while in fact all eight clashes since 2013/14 have featured fewer than three strikes.
West Ham Draw No Bet
Three of West Ham’s last four matches have seen fewer than three goals, with the exception the 2-1 defeat to Liverpool, as their most recent outings were 1-0 victories over Fulham and Sheffield Utd.
Those two sides are languishing in the relegation zone and the Hammers had to wait until the second half to make the breakthrough against both, so they should be made to work hard for the points.
Looking at West Ham’s four home league games this season, as well as their final home game last term (which was against Villa themselves), four of five outings have seen fewer than three goals.
However, six of Villa’s last seven have featured at least three goals, so we wouldn’t be entirely comfortable backing ‘unders’ here.
However, Michail Antonio should return for this fixture and with Sebastien Haller’s confidence boosted by grabbing the winner last time out, we’d back the Hammers to edge this one.