West Ham vs Aston Villa

POSTED: 17 August 2012

West Ham vs Aston Villa

Last season, Aston Villa were poor. Very poor. And what can you really expect when you have a team moulded by Gerard Houllier and managed by Alex McLeish? A most appropriate euphemism for both would be “conservative”. Now that McLeish have left, Villa should do a lot better this season. His replacement Paul Lambert performed miracles with a relatively unheralded Norwich, leading them to a very respectable 12th place in their first season back in the top flight.

This season, four new faces have arrived in Villa Park, none of them are big superstar names, but it is the style of play which Lamberts promises to bring that has got the fans excited. Although it shouldn’t be that hard considering even a mouse would have a more attacking approach than his predecessor. Still Lambert has a lot to do, especially considering both Richard Dunne and Gabriel Agbonlahor are out of this match.

Newly promoted West Ham squeaked into the Premier League via the play-offs. Manager Sam Allardyce is an old hand in the Premier League, and will welcome the return to the top flight. His team are slight favourites against Villa this Saturday, and regardless how they may have strengthened their team, they brought in four players as well with Alou Diarra the most recognizable name, I don’t see how they can be favourites against an established Premier League side, which should show considerable improvement this term.

Verdict: Aston Villa +0.25 @ 1.98