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After suffering defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, West Ham’s own hopes of a top-four finish have only decreased further and although that will be of some disappointment to David Moyes and his players, there is still plenty to play for between now and the end of the season.
While when it comes to things to play for, the only target that Aston Villa have is a top-half finish and with them currently within the bracket of genuine mid-table teams, it is a target that is certainly reachable.
Although West Ham will go into Sunday’s encounter with Aston Villa as favourites, it could be an encounter that is closer than you think and therefore, picking an outright outcome may prove to be difficult.
However, when looking at some of the biggest betting sites online, there are a couple of other markets that have taken my fancy and I have a feeling that goals will be in shorter supply at the London Stadium.
Which is why under 2.5 total goals at odds of 93/100 with LeoVegas seems rather appealing and if you also think that will be the case in the capital, it will certainly be worth an addition to your weekend Premier League accumulator.
Although West Ham’s defeat to Liverpool was their first in five Premier League matches, it was a costly one all the same and even though they are just three points behind Arsenal in sixth, they have also played three games more than the Gunners.
Which means their hopes of earning a first ever invite to the Champions League are now hanging by a thread and with Jarrod Bowen going off injured at Anfield last weekend, that is also another hammer blow for manager David Moyes.
However, there is no doubt that West Ham have been a rather resilient team this season and although a top-four finish may well elude them in May, a return to the Europa League is not out of the question either.
Then again, they could still win this season’s edition of the Europa League and in doing so, earn a backdoor entry to the Champions League - something that would only increase the profile of West Ham.
Something that they may need to do in order to keep hold of Declan Rice and with the England international being coveted by the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, it is certainly going to be an interesting summer in East London.
In terms of injuries and suspensions for the visit of Aston Villa, after Jarrod Bowen limped off against Liverpool last Saturday, the England hopeful is now a big doubt for the weekend and could well miss selection to Gareth Southgate’s next international squad.
After earning successive league victories against both Brighton and Southampton, it is fair to say that Aston Villa have found the wind in their sails once more and now manager Steven Gerrard will look to steer the club to a top-half spot in the Premier League.
Something that is certainly within reach, when you consider the current mid-table in the top status and with five teams coveting the two-remaining top-half places, it looks set to be a rather intense battle in the middle of the pack.
Of course, there is no trophy on offer for a top-ten Premier League finish, but there is still plenty of prize money on offer at the same time and if the Villa Park outfit can meet their current objective, it will only fuel further progress in the West Midlands.
Not only that, but if Aston Villa is a club that is truly upward in its mobility, it will also help keep Philippe Coutinho on board and with the Brazilian currently lighting up the stage, fans will hope he is a permanent fixture here next season.
Which is why a concerted push between now and the end of the campaign, is one that is so important and if Villa can win at the London Stadium this weekend, it will be considered something of a statement victory.
In terms of injuries and suspensions for the trip to West Ham, it is almost a clean bill of health for Steven Gerrard, and this means that once again, it is only Marvelous Nakamba who is unavailable at the weekend.
When it comes to the rivalry between West Ham and Aston Villa, these are two of the more established outfits in English football and any meeting between the two is always highly anticipated.
In terms of their overall head-to-head record, West Ham have won on 43 occasions, Aston Villa 38 and there have been 34 draws
The London Stadium replaced Upton Park as the home of West Ham and although it has taken some time for supporters to settle into their new surroundings, it has now become a fortress in the past couple of years.
With COVID-19 restrictions being lifted in England, it means there is no longer the need to show a Vaccine Passport before attending the ground. Which means, match tickets are the only item that is required to be produced at the time of writing.
When looking at the Premier League odds for a top-four finish, West Ham’s have lengthened after the weekend and although that may offer significant disappointment to fans of the club, they are still good value in the without Big 6 market - one that they are currently favourites in.
While when it comes to Aston Villa, there is not a great deal of outright interest when it comes to betting right now and instead, the focus should be on what they can do on a game-by-game basis.